Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

What’s the matter with young people today?
If this is the future of our country, our nation is doomed.
The trouble with youngsters today…

I can remember hearing statements like these when I was a teenager, 40+ years ago. And I’m still hearing them today. I’ve even been guilty of saying similar things on occasion.

Phrases such as these have been around for ages. Consider this quote, attributed to Socrates by Plato:

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

Sounds like the more things change, the more they remain the same!

But the problem with blanket statements is that they’re stereotypes. For every example, there’s an exception. Lately, I’ve been impressed with some of those exceptions:

–       Gabby Douglas – 16-year-old gold medalist in the London Olympics who proudly proclaimed, “I give all the glory to God. It’s kind of a win-win situation. The glory goes up to him and the blessings fall down on me.”

–      Rachel – 26-year-old Chick-Fil-A employee who politely responded to the man who heckled her on camera, and then publicly forgave him.

–        James – my 18-year-old nephew who recently returned from a short-term missions trip serving at an orphanage in Romania.

–        Katie and Krissy – 17- and 14-year-old sisters who spent one of their few remaining vacation days before school starts sorting baby clothes for the local Care Net center.

Well-known basketball coach John Wooden once said: “Young people need models, not critics.”

Sometimes young people are the models.

Is there a young person in your life who you’d like to recognize? Leave a comment!

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1 Comment

  1. George Anthony

    Thank you for sharing. A good friend once said to me ” our children do not come to us enlightened ” but instill, encourage and trust in them …and our children will rise to higher ground and we will benefit because of them…
    Thanks Ava for shining a ray of hope in the direction of our young leaders today!!

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