A former Lutheran pastor sharing thoughts on faith and life. Please join the conversation! I love your comments!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The 80's and the Value of Youth

I have been having a bit of a trip down memory lane this week.  I was asked to sing a particular song at church for Father's Day.  It is a song that was popular in the 80's.  My, how my taste in music has changed.  It has been a real struggle not to sing it like a preteen pretending to be a rock star.  Old habits are hard to break even after twenty plus years.

Singing this song brings back other memories from the 80's too.  Stirrup pants.  Hair-spraying wings into my hair.  Uggh.  It is difficult for me to look back on those years without thinking what an idiot I was.  Maybe that is a good thing though.  If I didn't look back on my younger years with some of those feelings would it mean I hadn't grown at all?  I have matured over the years in ways besides my droopy mommy belly and the appearance of new wrinkles.  Life teaches us things.  Such as: having straps of elastic looped around your feet might look sort of cool at first but when the tension of that elastic starts pulling your pants down in a revealing manner, time to let go of fashion trend in favor of common sense and decency.  Other life lessons are more profound though not necessarily more memorable.

I think it is okay that I remember myself as a little idiot as long as that is not all I remember.  I also remember wanting so badly to make a difference in life.  I remember questioning everything and searching to find who I was.  I remember having energy and big dreams.  I remember working my buns off in basketball and loving it.

It is important that I remember these things not only so that I will feel better about my young self but also so that I will remember that young people have a lot to offer.  Young people have enthusiasm, questioning, passion and (sometimes) open mindedness that this world needs.  We need to listen to them.  A life lesson that I picked up along the way also tells me not to assume that young people are bereft of life experiences themselves.  When I worked as a social worker I met children who had experienced more of life's hardships in a few short years than I have in five times as long.  And sometimes young people follow a particular passion with such enthusiasm it gives them an expertise most adults lack.

Let's listen to our young people.  Sure, they are currently undergoing their own experiences with all the stupidity of stirrup pants.  But that doesn't mean they don't have their own type of wisdom to offer.  Almost makes me want to go back and give that little silly preteen me a hug.  Yikes.  No, I definitely don't want to go back to those years.  Ick.

By the way, sorry it has been so long since I posted.  My brain is on vacation for the summer.  I hope you are all enjoying summer as much as (or more than) I am.

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