America’s youth give me hope for the future

teen friends

We rarely hear good things about today’s youth. They’re self-centered, they say. They’re narcissistic and entitled. Of course, every generation has things to work on, including my own. But if the past week is any indication, we have reason to hope for the world that our grandchildren will inherit. Here are a few things I’ve noticed recently about the rising generation:

  • They feel strongly about things that are important to them.
  • They cry when it hurts.
  • They fight through pain.
  • They assert themselves by demanding responsible change from those in power.
  • They’ll step in front of a bullet for you, literally and figuratively.
  • They understand and use the power of media to effect social change.
  • They say “I love you.”
  • They understand the value of life.
  • They understand that to be human requires a sense of humanity.
  • They play hard. And they play hardball.
  • They want to talk about heavy issues.
  • They ask the tough questions.
  • They provide solutions to the problems they see.
  • Family is important to them.
  • To them, family includes more than the people you live with.
  • They have a sense of right and wrong.
  • They understand that differences can strengthen, and not divide, us.
  • They understand that faith comes in many forms.
  • They feel compassion.
  • They keep trying, even though they’re scared that things won’t work out.
  • And the list could go on.

As one whose research involves youth, yes, I’m worried about them. But I also feel hope. Lots and lots of hope. I don’t know what the world will look like for my grandkids, but looking at our youth makes me feel like the future has a fighting chance.

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