Young people’s reaction to the recent
Reading such comments as those on loops my daughter frequents online, I’ve wanted to break into the dialog with a Mom Moment and nurse these plebes back to hope.
I want to tell them: The war is not over—why, it’s barely begun. Rather than tuck tail and run, whining about the life they now would never get to have, they need to see they have a life, and this is it! Let it be added that it will not be a boring life.
Boring: isn’t that the number-one complaint of the young life? Challenge and difficulty definitely alleviate boredom, though that is seldom the requested substitute for ennui. The uneventful day has never been one to write home about (well, not until our current culture, the Now Generation Pluperfect, the one “All About Me”). News has always been about battles, conquests, victories—not how nice one’s humdrum existence might be.
Accomplishments have never been achieved lying on the proverbial bed of roses. Struggle means exertion, the chance to fail—but it also means the entrée to fuller, richer life: real life. Crisis takes from what little we do possess and shapes it into something worth having. Crisis molds the tools to succeed.
Crisis calls us to get with it and develop our basic aptitudes—not as in schooling, where the main thing was to resist learning—but with alacrity: hurry up, or else! Without crisis calling them out, latent qualities remain invisible. Rather than respond now with despondence, turbulent skirmishes of our 50-50 culture clash should call out those gifts. So my Mom Moment for the young says: be encouraged, don’t give up, engage in the battle. Do conquests.
Hearing this come out of my own mouth, I’m embarrassed to think of how I see my own gaps right now. Sometimes I feel like I’m adrift in my own personal Sargasso Sea, all awash with binding, slimy seaweed. I see no defining shores. I feel no call to action. I feel like Life Wasting Away. I can’t believe advice out of my own mouth for others could be just the prescription for my own life!