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This is Previous-Essay <== This-Essay ==> Following-Essay Click HERE on this line to find essays via Your-Key-Words. {Most frequent wordstarts of each essay will be put here.} ========================================================== %STREET GANG FOUND CHILD ADOLESCENT REBEL SHARE+940929 %NEED ACCEPTANCE BELONG TALK HEARD LISTENED LOVED+940929 %CONFESS SYMPATHIZE AGREE VISIT DISCUSS INFLUENCE+940929 %CONTROL DIALOGUE COMMUNE COOPERATE CONNECT RELATE 940929 Street gangs engaged in criminal activities when certain basic human needs are not met in healthy ways by families and communities. Gangs are formed when groups of people come together in perverse and rebellious ways to meet their human needs to belong, be accepted, talk, be heard and be understood. Humans are social creatures with deep needs for communal contexts and support. In the absence of healthy communal contexts and support many humans invent and create their own communal contexts and support networks which reflect, react and rebel against the imperfections in their own families and social environments---and so tend to perpetuate those imperfections. To be healthy, people need to have opportunities to talk, be heard, be listened to, be understood, sympathized with, and often agreed with. It is un-healthy for young people not to have many opportunities to be involved in significant open and honest discussions, dialogue, and sharing of their concerns, fears, desires, hopes and aspirations. In communal contexts where such opportunities are inadequate or perverted; and young people are left to their own devices---young people are bound to invent their own imperfect opportunities, and to form street gangs engaged in criminal activities. When parents, teachers, religious and business leaders in a community are not listening to, talking with, in dialogue with, and understanding the youth of the community---the youth form their own isolated groups within which to try to get their unmet needs fulfilled in whatever ways they can; and often they do so in highly dysfunctional ways. Gangs mirror and amplify the addictive and codependent patterns which are present in the non- functional and dysfunctional community around them. Through perverse feed-back-loops gangs accentuate tendencies towards dishonesty, deception, manipulation, control, coercion, violence and crisis management. Gangs cannot be overcome by concentrating the alienative attitudes and values which permeate the activities of gangs. (c) 2005 by Paul A. Smith in (On Being Yourself, Whole and Healthy) ==========================================================