My heart aches for the youth of today. I wonder how much we’d really see if our society wasn’t so self-absorbed. Everyday a child somewhere has lost their way, hoping and praying that someone will see them — I mean, actually see them. See the person behind the smile, choice of clothes, or interesting behavior. Some of our kids deal with the weight of some of the most horrific things that most adults would not have the strength to endure: molestation, hunger, bullying, poverty, and the list goes on.
Every adult can put their hands to the plow, but I am specifically asking those in my age bracket, late 30s & 40s, to do our part in saving at least one youngster’s life. You’d be surprised at how a small gesture of kindness can go a long way with a child. It can be saying something positive, paying for their meal, helping them with sports or better yet….just listen to what they have to say. They want to know that they matter.
It seems that many in my age group are often consumed with the perfect lighting for selfies, the next musical, or conference and pay little to no attention to the youth around them. This is very unfortunate but I am hopeful that we can become more purposeful with our time one day soon. I honestly consider my age group as being probably the most versatile individuals of the time we live in. What do I mean? A lot of us have traditional upbringings and strong, foundational values instilled in us, but we are still able to operate with contemporary methods and perspectives. In other words, we’re too old school to be completely new school and we’re too new school to be completely old school. There is a luxury of both worlds we possess that can be an asset to both young and old — (it brings the balance between being too liberal and too static). We have an opportunity and obligation to pour back into those coming behind us just as those who’ve gone before us once did.
Growing up in my community, parents and elders did their best to watch, pay attention, and ask kids questions if something looked questionable. If they saw us hanging with the wrong crowd, they would holler our names out (with the voice of many angels) and tell us to get back home before they called our parents. Again, we were a community. If one was in trouble, all of us were in trouble. If one rejoiced, we all rejoiced. If one mourned, we all mourned.
It’s not enough to re-post, re-tweet, or talk about the plights of our youth. We have to put action to our concerns. If they don’t respond after the first or second try, don’t give up on them….keep trying because they are worth it. Consider becoming a part of a local non-profit or charity whose mission is to enrich the lives of youth. If you are a trained counselor, perhaps volunteer at your church or community shelter. One of my favorite organizations is the Ronald McDonald House in case you’d like a jump-start in helping kids right away. If we all do our part we can make a mark that cannot be erased and bring healing to the attacks of the heart our children face.
May peace and prosperity be with you always.
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