Millennials: Raised in the Age of Fallen Heroes?
"I don't trust nobody and I don't respect nobody."
"How come you feel that way?"
You can't believe nobody nowadays. Even squeaky clean Tiger Woods got caught up."
--conversation between Al Duncan and
one of his teenage mentees on Sat. 11/28/09
Anybody that works with Millennials, especially at-risk youth, knows that one of the hardest things to do is to get them trust you and respect you.
Can you blame them?
They constantly see the squeaky clean get tarnished and the tarnished get worse. Millennials have grown up during a time when heroes and heroines from all walks of life have been caught up in a ridiculous amount of stupidity, deceit, and criminal activity. (And thanks to technology, when a hero falls the whole world knows in a matter of minutes.)
Our young people have seen scandals in the White House and scams on Wall Street.
They've lived through steroids in baseball and sexting in the mayor's office.
They've witnessed stealing in church and shootings on campus...
Did I miss anything? Yeah--a whole lot.
What's the remedy?
That's a tough one. But let's start with teaching people to appreciate and emulate the everyday "heroes" that surround them.
When the famous and infamous fall, who's still standing?
The parents who work an insane amount of hours to give their children more opportunities and a chance to live a better life then they did...
...the under-paid teacher who never stops believing in her students...
...the local business owner who gave away the scholarships and sponsored the youth program...
...the volunteer who doesn't have any children, but treats somebody else's children like they are her own...
...the college student who spent the whole summer teaching kids in a small village in Africa how to read...
...the mentor who is consistently there to listen, support, and advise...
...the teen that's not old enough to vote, but is still civically engaged...
...the soldier that puts his life on the line to protect his family and yours...
Did I miss any? Yeah--a whole lot...and that's the point:
Millennials haven't been raised in the age of fallen heroes. They've been raised in an age of underappreciated heroes. Sometimes we forget our everyday heroes and other times we neglect them. That is unacceptable. Our young people need their character building stories.
So, take a few moments to point out some everyday heroes to a young person you care about. Show him or her that there are plenty of people that they can trust and respect.
Duncan Nugget #162
As long as there are heroes and heroines, there will be some that fall. But while we try to figure out what went wrong with the fallen, let's remember to appreciate and emulate the standing.
Copyright 2009 Al Duncan Enterprises.
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