Continue helping the youth
Jess Shut Up
Our youth can sometimes get a bad rap. A small group of rebellious teens can sometimes make an impression on an individual that defines an entire generation in that person’s eyes. The words disconnected, lazy, distracted and entitled are some of the terms used today to describe the upcoming adults who will be leading us before we know it. To be honest, if I look back at my own childhood and think about where I saw myself then, I did not see me standing where I stand now.
What was important to me then is not now, and the maturity that can happen sometimes seems to come overnight. The key thing, in my opinion, is having adults to guide youth through things that can make them focus on the important things. The unwanted things fall off and the important things become a new and glorious adventure. But having adults around who give a darn is just as important as the things that might lead us astray. This generation has distractions like no other generation before.
I have seen kids from the current cohort of youth turn on a dime and make sense, even when they are told they don’t have the right answers. Kids that have grown up in environments that seem to only have them destined for the sa me environments for themselves have instead pulled it together with focus and desire. They make the tough decisions and cut loose from the chains that bind them and bloom. What do all these kids that have turned the corner have in common? Adults who care, speaking truth, love and compassion into their lives. Even if they only get a moment, those words have impact. They are craving someone to care and speak to them in a real way.
This generation needs those who will cut through the distractions and build a long lasting foundational relationship with them. Growing them from within themselves. Building up their confidence, their abilities and their trust in mankind again. The opportunities to do these things as adults become fewer and fewer, especially if you are not engaged in areas to do so; but there are chances. A conversation at the grocery store, at church or at a sporting event can make the difference.
There are kids hurting right now in our community. They are hungry for those willing to take time and give them a little bit of honest, pure conversation. If we do not oblige and put value on doing this, someone else will, someone who may lead them down the wrong path, removing any chance of retrieving them. In a biblical world, this may be called a “divine appointment,” but whatever you call it, when the kid comes along your path, seize the opportunity to show that you care. They may appear like they are not listening, but I guarantee that something will get in there.
These are our future leaders. Future board members, mayors, business owners and, yes, maybe even a president. Your words could be the encouragement they need to succeed in the next phase of their lives.