Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Young folk.

Masses of people have suggested that I should blog. (OK four). I'm not really sure why I should blog. It seems an odd thing in some ways to simply write something and post it for all to see. But I'm susceptible to influence, so ... here goes...

I'm sitting at my new counter top, looking out my new windows at my new patio and another beautiful California day. I'm acutely aware of the blessings in my life. A great family, terrific friends (including a bunch of teens and twenty somethings whose energy and outlook always gives me hope for the future - more on that later), something to do every day that feels useful, and lots of things that interest me.

I'm also acutely aware that not everyone in the world is so lucky and I've thought about that some. There are a lot of things we can't change. There are a few we can. I've decided to concentrate my efforts on the area around where I live, and particularly on the young people here. For many in my generation, the stark differences between our own upbringing and what our kids and their friends and acquaintances experience are frightening. To be sure, there is much to be frightened about. Kids are challenged with everything early. The drug and sex subculture is pervasive. Inputs from childhood cartoons to adult sitcoms teach kids that their parents are idiots - and reality all to often mimics art. Through it all, kids soldier on.
My generation seems to think that simply because these things are true, kids must just, pretty much, suck. They as much as say so. I think we're wrong. I think kids, and the young adults they become are remarkable. They live through the challenges of their culture and in the midst of it they find something to cling to, something they like and enjoy and sometimes something that gives them hope and they cling to that and they thrive.

"Cool" is different too. Cool was easy when I was a kid. If you were good looking at athletic you were cool. If you weren't you coped. Cool applied to the whole school - to the whole town really. You knew the cool kids from any school at a glance. (Pretty shallow huh?) Today, cool applies within a thousand microcosmic subcultures. Kids don't have to be cool for the whole school, they can be cool within the confines of their chosen groups and relationships. To be sure, they can be "uncool" too and the loss of anonymity in the smaller surrounds might make this harder than it was for me. I'll leave that to the experts.

I only gave myself 10 minutes a day for this. If you like it, let me know. If you think it sucks - let me know that too! If you have a different opinion, by all means - weigh in!

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