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Prison Journalism: Are you part of a generation of cancellation?

Wesley Leong was incarcerated at the age of 15 in 1996 at Pollsmoor Prison. He is currently part of Restore’s research and reintegration project.


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As I sit back and take a good look around me and pay attention to what exactly is happening… some things strike a chord for me on a very personal level. One of them being the generation of this age, and I cannot help but compare it to my generation back then.

Generation of today

So many things have changed for me compared to the generation of today, not just in terms of technology and way of life and the massive impact it has on shaping us today, but also our values and words. There were basic fundamentals that made me who I am today in regard to respect and values. Sadly, this is not the case in this day and age. It is devastating!

Look up towards our elders!

I was always taught to respect my elders, no matter what. Not only did it mean this, but it instilled values in me that have helped me persevere and uphold my position in society. Every single person has to be accountable in their lives, but it is so much easier to point fingers or to say change is needed but nothing ever really gets done.

How do you see yourself in today’s generation?

You need to dig deep and take your time as well as think hard before you can answer this. Life must we think we know ourselves, but do we really understand ourselves. As you perceive to the rules and accordance to society, or one truthful to the values and beliefs you were brought up with. Think about this for a second or two, believe me, you owe it to yourself.

What, where, when, who, why?

Your identity in society, the relationships you have with others, or certain belongings you feel in this world, labels given to define oneself, most importantly, the character that shaped you into the person you are today.

The generation of people who cannot be taught, whose mind is their hand, they put character above wealth, possessing strong optimism as well. People that are louder than their vocations, never forgoing their individuality, and not afraid to take risks. A generation who are honest no matter what, that will have no compromise with wrong, ambitions are not confused with selfishness, people that will not agree just because everyone says to do it. A generation that will be free, fight towards you in adversity and in prosperity. They believe that strength, hand, head, and among ways are not the key to success. A generation not ashamed nor afraid to stand for what is right and true, even when it is unpopular, and say no with deep emphasis when the world says yes.

This is a generation of cancellation; these men and women are strongly being debated and being helped with the generation of this day and age.

Where do you see yourself in the world today?

DISCLAIMER: Submission published as received

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RESTORE is an NGO based in Cape Town, South Africa, providing inmates at Pollsmoor Prison with restorative justice opportunities.

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