I read a blog post about teens this week that bothered me. The author was talking about the "attitude of entitlement" that she sees in teens today. Okay, I have teens, I'm around teens a lot, and I was a teen, so I understand where she's coming from. Yes, there are times when teens act like the world revolves around them. (I remember having that attitude myself.)
But as a kind of rebuttal, I wanted to talk about what I saw teens doing just in the last week.
On Saturday my daughter and a group of her friends participated in a walk to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis because a little girl she babysits has CF. I went to Walmart and saw kids and teens bagging groceries for tips. Another group was frosting and selling cupcakes. All the money they raised was going to Seattle Children's Hospital.
On Sunday, teenage boys from my church visited elderly and infirm members of our congregation who couldn't make it to church, to take them the Sacrament, (an ordinance similar to Catholic Communion).
On Tuesday I dropped my son off for scouts and he was greeted by his den chief, the teenage grandson of one of his den leaders who voluntarily comes to cub scout meetings every week to mentor the younger scouts.
On Wednesday I went to our grade school's annual fun run. My oldest son, now in high school, came along (happily), as a volunteer and he wasn't the only teenage, former student, that was there to help.
Yesterday, I heard from six members of the cast of HAIRSPRAY, all thanking me for the review of their performance that I had put on my blog last Friday.
In deference to Memorial Day, I should also mention that all this week, young men and women are far away from their homes and families, serving their country in many parts of the world.
These are just the few examples I saw going about my day-to-day things. I bet you if you looked around, you would see some too.
I know if I looked for it, I would probably be able to find kids and teens doing bad things, but I prefer to look for the good things that they do. All around us are kids and teens volunteering their time to benefit their families and their communities. I'm envious of the energy and enthusiasm that they have. I'm envious of the spirit of youth who still believe, (and rightly so), that they can change the world. These kids lead out in doing good things because they feel invincible, because they believe they can. (At least until someone tells them they can't or someone tells them that they're bad kids.)
If there is an attitude of entitlement it comes from the adults who don't give kids and teens the opportunity to do what they're good at--shaking thing up. They can shake things up for good, just as easily as they can shake things up for bad.
For the adults out there, I challenge you to look for kids and teens doing great things. Then let me know, I love putting that stuff on my blog!!!
For the teens out there, don't ever let anyone tell you that you can't make the world a better place. If someone labels you a bad kid, or a bad generation, do everything you can to prove them wrong. Keep up the good work.