Often times we view youth as students to what we have to teach them, abiders to the rules we set and followers of the paths we direct them to travel. We demand respect from them and create expectations of who, or what, we want them to be. The question is: what about what they have to teach and show us?
We live in a time of great change. Humanity is shifting. On one end we have messages of hope, awareness, and change being shared on grand scales, with deep conviction and truth. On the opposite side, we have levels of abuse, neglect, negativity and fear of great concern. In many cases, young people are absorbing the brunt of it all. The most extreme outcome is the fact children are killing themselves, and each other, because of the pain they are carrying, inflicted by others.
Young people are more in-tune and aware of the changes our world needs than most adults may even realize. In some cases, the youth are closer to the truth in who we are and how we should be living than the truth we as adults only think is real. They are the ones who will lead us into lasting change. The reality is: they can only lead us if we both allow and empower them to do so. This is not to say we cannot guide, help, and share our insight with them. This is simply to say: we must be more receptive, as a society, to what our youth are telling us. Look deeper in to the reasons why they are “acting out.” Pay attention to the hints they are giving us. Listen when they try to explain their view or tell a story.
The more we validate the power of our young people the more they will appreciate the wisdom of their elders. When there is no more us versus them and there is unity between us, we will know what lasting peace truly is…
The youth will not only lead us to a better tomorrow, but will remind us of the peace, innocence, and beauty within us all, today. The only thing we have to do is: let them!