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De Bono Weekly Message – Youth Gangs

I have recently had serious meetings both in London and Johannesburg with people concerned with youth crime. There are two things which everyone needs. They are ‘significance’ and ‘achievement’.

In today’s world the only way a youngster can get these is through crime. There is the significance of belonging to a gang or showing off to your peers. There is the immediate achievement of crime: stolen goods, a graffiti, a broken window. There is very little opportunity for positive achievement. Schoolwork is not enough. Sport is not enough. Learning to play tennis in the hope that one day you might win at Wimbledon is too remote. There is a need for achievement as immediate as that of crime.