teenagers

I’ve had recent ponderings about the increasing violence, recklessness, selfishness, and hedonism of many young NZers represented in the news.   Oh sure, there are some sterling exceptions, but not enough.  I’m a pastor for youth, and I am for youth, not against them… but the reality of how things are saddens me.

I’ve said it in person, though probably not here: though humans have always been and will always be a mixed bag and swinging pendulum of both wretchedness and radiance, mod-western teens are an historical/geographical rarity.  The difference: the very recent and unwise concept of ‘teenager’ (being [be]t[w]een the age of child and adult).  It’s post WWII stuff – that recent.  These human beings have almost certainly the highest options-to-responsibilities ratio in the history of humanity.

We expect almost nothing from them, and that’s what we get.  We expect them to consume resources & time and many do just that and no more.  Meanwhile, the rest of the 13-19 yr olds around the world and throughout human history were a) viewed as an adult (usually entering adulthood through rites of passage – such as a Bar Mitzvah), and b) had the responsibilities of an adult.

At home, at school, and in towns/cities, these kids need jobs to do.  They have intellect, energy and creativity and it so often gets wasted.  Here’s to them getting the support and guidance (starting with a few parents who need a rather massive wake-up call) they need to be all they can be!