Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Through my travels I encounter people from all walks of life. I find a twisted sense of comfort in the diversity of people and learning from them what it is in their lives that have formed their opinions.. We don't all think the same.
How many times have you heard this comment.. "the kids of today would rather play video games than to do something with their lives". I have said it. I have at a time truly believed it. But then one day in conversation I decided to be on the side of the kids for a change. The people I was with are of an older generation and fairly set in their opinions. As we talked it became easier for me to understand where their opinions were coming from. "When I was a kid we use to work all summer long de-tasseling corn or hoeing soybeans. Thats how I made money for school clothes". Yes Sir.. I understand.. I did the same thing as a youngster.. But here's the deal. Kids dont have that option anymore. AND kids don't have to do that anymore. When I was a kid I got up at 4am to meet the schoolbus at the local bar. 30-40 of us kids would ride out to a corn field and de-tassel corn till it was too hot for man or child to work.. Not one of us did that work because it was fun. We did it because we needed the money.. There were many a lesson learned making a dollar back then.. And todays kids dont have those opportunities. Today there is little that a kid can do that comes close to the freedom we enjoyed.. I grew up in a rural environment. If I wanted money it was as easy as stacking firewood for a neighbor or shoveling out the cow feedlot that was close to my house.. I'd grab a snow shovel on saturday morning and walk from one end of town to the other. I'd get home before the streetlights came on, with my belly full of food and my pockets full of cash.. That was the early 80's. What 12yr old could do that in 2013?... When I was a kid I could push a lawnmower all over town and find a full days work.. Back then I wasn't competing with a lawn maintenance business with trucks, trailers, mowers, weedeaters, blowers and a client list that kept four men in full time work. Thats what a kid would be up against today..
Think about those minor victories you had in your childhood. Did you climb the water tower? Did you climb the fence to go swimming after the public pool was closed? Did you skip school and walk down the railroad tracks just to see where they went? Did you ever sneak out of the house and throw pebbles at a girls window hoping that she would join you.? Ya.. I even remember the first time I "Borrowed" somebodies car. Now think about what would happen if a kid tried to do those things today. Today the cost of getting in trouble is much higher than it was when we were a kid.. I call them minor victories because it was those events that helped form who I am today.. to put it another way,, If you could subtract those events from my life I would be a completely different person. My morals were tested. My sense of adventure was formed. My love for different types of music blossomed. Good or bad, The things we did as kids made us who we are today..
I've heard many a people bad mouth the younger generations.. I am just as guilty.. But, I've come to realize that we are judging by a standard that is as old as we are and that standard doesn't work anymore. When I was a child I was able to personally select my own mentors. I picked the people I wanted to be around. What child can do that in this day and time.?
I'm not sure what all the answers are. It could be that there are no answers. I can tell you this. I think the kids of today are lacking in opportunities.. They need those Minor Victories in their lives as much as we did. Those foundation stones that form the rest of their lives.. Some of them aren't getting at school. some dont get it from home. There is no mass social program that will cover all the variables.. I know there is one thing that will always work. Human Contact. There is no solution without human contact.. Here is my favorite question to ask a kid... "What do you want to be when you grow up?" It is always my hope that I can ask this next question.. "What can I do to help?" In the process of affecting a young life, you just might affect your own..
It's a long road to the grave. It is the collection of our lifes events that make us who we are.. We are evolving with every new experience and so are the young people around us.. It's just my opinion...
Until next time,
Posted by I AM DON WOOD at 12:08 PM