Monday, June 20, 2011

The Future is Bright Thanks to the Millennium Generation

I have to be honest, I wasn't looking forward to Father's Day since my dad was not here to get my annual phone call.  Awhile back an acquaintance of mine had mentioned a "year of mourning" which I hadn't really thought much about but she explained that this year would be a year of first holidays without dad.  Father's Day became my first big encounter with this concept.

Funny thing happened on the way to Father's Day.  Saturday night I got a text from a young friend of ours asking what we were doing for Father's Day.  Now you need to understand, Kelly is more than just a young friend, more than just my daughter's best friend, she's extended family.  I've watched her grow from little girl to confident, capable young woman.  To say that I was thrilled that she accepted the invitation to come join us for the day would be an understatement! 

We spent the afternoon swimming, fishing and conoeing in "Loch Lonnie" (the name we gave to my husband's best friend's pond years ago). We ate potato salad, home made rolls and pork steaks.  But overall, we just spent the afternoon together, hanging out.  Our little extended family just enjoying being together.

As I reflect on this today as I prepare for my son's 17th birthday I am awed and humbled by this younger generation!  So many people generalize about the "millennium generation" how listless they are, how they have no sense of identity or direction.  I beg to differ!  If you listen and let them speak and watch how they are conducting themselves you would be surprised at their clarity, their maturity, their diligence and courage!  This is not a generation that needs saving!  This is a generation that is going to save us! 

When you think about it, this is not a generation that has had it easy.  Sure, they prefer to text rather than talk on the phone.  They tweet and hang out on Facebook.  They have video games and DVDs.  They pierce and tattoo.  Things, merely things, not the real heart of who they are and what they think!  This is the generation that has dealt with divorce and blended families.  This is the generation that has watched a parent or older relative or family friend lose their job after years of faithful employment.  This is the generation who volunteers to go in to the military because they feel it's important to serve their country.  This is the generation who tells you that they are positive that they will never see a dime of Social Security.  They go to college full time and work part time, sometimes full time jobs on the side because they know their parents can't afford to pay for all of the expenses. 

The most amazing thing of all to me is that I have NEVER once heard these young people complain about having to do these things!  This is the reality they face and rather than complain they step up to the plate and do what they need to do.  They do get frustrated by the lack of leadership in this country.  They are offended by the lack of courtesy extended to them and the fact that they tend to be overlooked.  They do get upset when the teacher for their college course (which they are paying for out of their own pockets) cancels class half of the time!  I don't blame them.  If people spent most of their time looking down at me rather than talking with me I would be upset too!

My overall point though is that the future is bright!  I could list positive "example after example" just from my children's circle of friends of young adults doing the right things in the right way for the right reasons. Get past the appearances and look at the soul.  They are amazing young adults!

When dad first became ill and I went home to see him, I didn't want to leave but he made me leave.  He said that my children were the most important things in this world and I needed to be home with them.  Dad would be so proud of this younger generation-his grandchildren and their friends!   

I agree with you dad, I agree.  Thanks for the lesson.

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