I have often said that kids either keep you young or make you old. I have felt both of those experiences at different times, but I keep investing in teens. I invest in their technology. I have a MySpace page and a Facebook site. I text message (to the best of my ability) several times a day. I try to listen to the music that teens listen to, watch their television programs and be informed about what they think is important in the world.
I place a high value on communicating with teens. I try to know their language, because it is different than adultspeak. I spend time with youth, just for the sake of spending time with them. I care about them and I want them to know that I care about them. As far as I am able, I will continue to value young people and my relationships with them indefinitely.
This is all important to me because of things that I have written before. It is important to reach out to young people. But in addition to that, I believe that there is power in youth. Of course our culture teaches us to long for youth. The cosmetic surgery industry is growing exponentially. Diet plans and cosmetics sell like hotcakes. Media conglomerates market everything to a youth market. In fact, the demographic that is most important is always younger than me. Cool people are always young. Everyone wants to be young, or act young, or look young.
But that is not the power that I refer to. Young people are powerful in a number of ways.
- Young people have power because they are naive. They are not old enough (or experienced enough) to realize how corrupt and negative the world is. That means that young adults often believe what they are told. They will give you the benefit of the doubt. They look at things in hopeful and positive ways.
- Young people are not bitter. They do not give up at the first sign of disappointment. They keep going, keep believing, keep trying. They always have hope that the next time will be the best.
- Young people have a lot of energy. They can keep going when the rest of us want to give up. They do not tire as easily. They bring new ideas and creativity to problems that the rest of us cannot solve.
I try to surround myself with young people because they bring so much to the table. They have so many assets to offer that I lost long ago. I want to re-capture my own youth, yes. But more importantly, I want to be sure that the youth of others is not wasted.