Friday, April 24, 2009

There is still hope...

We can finally say that spring has really arrived in Wisconsin.

And with this glorious day, the opportunity to see that there is still hope for humanity, after all.

Let me explain: I went shopping with my youngest daughter. When we got out of the store, the temperature was maybe 10 degrees warmer than when we went in. As I struggle to unload my cart, and pick up my child and strap her in her safety seat, a lady walks by with what seemed to be her teenage daughter. They went to their car and unloaded their shopping cart. As the teenager passes by us to return her cart, she very politely said to me, "Ma'm, would you like me to take your cart also?". I was shocked! A polite teenager in this day and age!! I answered, "sure! If you would not mind, I would really appreciate that!" with the biggest smile I could give. I thank her again as she walked on her way back, and waved goodbye to them as they drove away.

Now, if there are any adolescents reading this, please do not be offended. I was a teenager once long ago? A while! But I have not forgotten how it felt to be misunderstood, how it was to hear our elders say, "youth today is bad, a bunch of irresponsible losers!" How the worse was always expected from us.

Looking back, I cannot say I blame them. They probably were, like I am today, alarmed and disappointed at news of young people doing terrible things. And I am not talking about the "usual suspects" like teen pregnancy, or drugs...I am talking about the lack of empathy and compassion in the young people that you hear about in the news. When I hear a report on an old man beaten by a group of youngsters because "they were bored," it saddens me horribly. Where are the parents of these children? Is there someone out there taking responsibility for this behavior? My guess is, the parents are probably young themselves, and the cycle is simply repeating itself.

So, to the young lady at the parking lot today, I bow to you. To her mother, I say "kudos" and "thank you" for taking the time to pass on to your children good values and the capacity to care for others. One simple, seemingly insignificant act, says volumes...and tells us that not everything is lost, after all.

1 comment:

Cassy said...

This is great. As a teacher of elementary school I often wonder why some parents have forgotten to teach important lessons to their kids, like respect for their elders, listening, manners, etc. But I agree, there are many young people out there who HAVE taken their parents' and teachers' words to heart, and those kids are doing the right thing. So, I am hopeful for the future...