A guy I know teaches high school, and he made a post on Facebook today that does a thing that I do all too often. The post, essentially, made fun of his students. (Note: that isn’t the thing I do all that often—make fun of high school students. Just when they really ask for it.) No, the thing that he did is post about how irrevocably terrible they handled an assignment—how their execution of said assignment proves that the future is in big, big trouble: The future is doomed for the dullards who will carry it forth.
That is the thing I do. At the supermarket, some college guys will be behind me in line, swearing like sailors and speaking in all manner of filth, and I’ll think, “Doomed. Doomed. Doomed!” My nephew will crave an I-Phone to play with, and I will cringe for his six-year-old soul and the future of our nation, our world. Doomed. Doomed. Doomed!
But back to the guy I know—the teacher. His comment prompted this thought in me: “Dude, you are their teacher! You are the one that, you know, is supposed to guide them from the rubbish pile of human thought to loftier pursuit. They are not the future . . . you are!”
And then I thought the same of me . . . we aren’t to condemn the generations behind us from some lofty tower as if we weren’t once dolts, once crass, once cowardly or wandering and wondering. I mean, I was a little twerp most of my life. Still am sometimes. But my lack of twerpiness is not in the slightest owed to those who gave up on me or rolled their eyes at me or doomed me and my peers to purposeless stagnancy. It was those who caressed my feeble mind and challenged it. It was those who saw my confused heart and guided it. It was those who loved me not like I was an idiot or project, but like I was a person capable (somehow) of greatness—or at least “betterness.”
I hate my attitude, my generational pride that hampers my impact on those that will see days that I will never live to see.
I don’t want to live my life running ahead of the pack behind, scoffing over my shoulder and darting on. No, I want to slow my pace a bit, and reach that baton out to those behind me, just as so many have done for me, meeting them where they are and trusting them with whatever comes next . . . in full hope and in full love.