2011/08/13 § Leave a comment

I’m not terribly convinced that today’s “youth” is killing our world with their lack of manners or inability to communicate.

I don’t think that technology is keeping them from learning cursive, or that texting keeps them from talking.

I’m not sure that it’s true that teenagers are angry, rude, obnoxious people 24/7.

I think that “teenagers,” those humans between the ages of 13 (sometimes 11) and 20 (sometimes 22), can be and are amazing, beautiful people with thoughts as deep as an 81-year-olds, and have as much to learn as a new baby.  Looking back, I realize that I learned, and still learn, so much from people younger than me.  I also realize that I have learned so much more as an almost 23-year-old than I thought I would at 16.  The choices I made at 17 aren’t the ones I would make now, but I wouldn’t be who I am without those decisions I made.  Who’s to say those were “wrong” versus they were “changing.”

I am recently inspired by a specific group of people with whom I am in love.  I don’t just love them, I am in love with them.  Each one is unique, beautiful, and interesting.  I have learned something from each one of them, even if that person or I havne’t even realized it.  These people are the youth of Hope UMC.  They all have different backgrounds; some are more like mine, two parents, siblings, pets.  Some are from split homes, or homes that struggle with addiction or disease; unemployment or stuggles at school.  Some people are a little of everything; in fact, most of us are.  Some were raised at Hope Church, others were brought by friends.  Some of us go to Hope for church every week, others just come to hang out.  They volunteer time to move furniture, to lead at VBS or Thrilling Thursdays, to lead small groups or go on mission trips, or serve coffee once a month or read in the service or speak or sing or do any number of things that they don’t have to do, but do anyway.

These amazing people stay in touch with each other, boost each other up, take note of a sad facebook status, or a particularly excited one; they keep track of who is coming to what event, and they try to learn newcomers’ names as fast as they can.  They argue and bicker, play favorites, get mad, it’s true- but so do I.  So do most people-over-the-age-of-18-aka-adults that I know.  Perhaps it’s just that as we get older, we realize how important it is to learn, listen, make ourselves heard and understood, to understand others; to make us people to be proud of, ourselves and others.

The most valuable trait the Hope youth have is love.  Unconditional and expanding and encompassing.  I’m so proud of them, and I can’t wait to see what they do next.

ps the title of this post is in reference to one of my all time favorite games played tonight at the lock-in.


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