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Lately I have been spending a lot of time working with youth from ages fourteen to their early twenties. These young people are gifted in many ways. They are able to access facts in seconds and find out details about news occurring globally from moment to moment. They communicate so effectively they can talk with a million people from across the world about their thoughts and views, travel to places they have never been, and investigate people that they have never seen and sometimes impact the lives of nations having never left home.
Yet, what has been shown to be the most technologically advanced period in history seems rife with shortsightedness, impulsivity, and an extreme lack of common sense. With all of the available good and also accurate information at our fingertips, young and old alike are less willing than ever to apply intelligent assessment to their daily lives. Sex, drugs and… well you know how the saying goes… stifle and diminish much of our progress. It is as if the growth of arrogance is commensurate with material advancement dumbing us down and robbing us of simple grace.
My time with the youth has mostly been spent sharing basic humanisms, stories life experiences, authentic feelings and emotions about living. They have responded with great interest and appreciation, they seem to be hungering for the “real” unembellished truth about any and everything.
*A note to those of you out there with a few gray hairs; grab a youth or, a few young people, share your life with them, tell them about your fears and your dreams, and ask them about theirs. Tell them how proud you are of them because of who they are and what you fully expect that they will one day be and do. Be the dad, the mom, the big sister or, brother the friend, the comfort the guidance and the one who loves them enough to correct them. Feel free to videotape, skype, text or email your insights but remember that sometimes nothing beats a friendly and warm embrace. Whatever works…
Time is running out for them and for us!