Future Hope

In this world of  continual bad news, bullying, name calling and violence, it's hard to have hope.  The future seems bleak.  Is there anyone out there who DOESN'T feel depressed or full of despair?

But even in this dark era, I have found hope.  And I reminded of this song:

"I believe that children are our future;
Teach them well and let them lead the way.
Show them all the beauty they possess inside.
Give them a sense of pride, to make it easier;
Let the children's laughter remind us how we use to be."

Hokey, perhaps, but also true.  For me the words:  "Teach them well and let them lead the way" sound loud and clear.  WHAT and HOW we teach are children will mold their behavior as teens, young adults and adults.  IF we teach them WELL, there IS hope for the future.

I have seen first hand how "children" can treat each other with love and kindness without any "adult prompting".    Recent simple acts of kindness truly gave me hope for our future.  But before I get to that, let me provide some backstory.

My son was one of 4 children/young adults who were confirmed at the church we attend.  They attended a dozen or so classes after church services (every other week or so for half a year or so). There were two Caucasian, one African American and one Asian American.  One was in high school; three were in middle school.  One was male; three were female.  They were very different, but chose to focus on their similarities.  These four "kids" became pals; friends that you could trust and lean on.  All four were invited to a high school graduation party for a friend who was part of their monthly church teen discussion group.  (Someone who was "older" and who you wouldn't expect to include younger kids in her graduation celebration.  But she, like them, is more focused on INCLUSION and getting to know a person for who they really are as opposed to what is "supposed to be.")   

My son was all set to go.  I'd already talked to another mom about a pick up/drop off plan.  Then my son got sick. Usually he bounces back pretty quickly, but this time he didn't so I had to at the last minute send our regrets.  And that was that.

Or was it?

Later in the afternoon, as my son is half sleeping/half watching tv (an episode of Mom for those of you who were dying to know), when a car pulls into the driveway.  It's the girl we were going to carpool with (and her mom) with this:

It was such a simple, caring gesture.  Now my son was not deathly ill; just too sick to go to the party, but she was thoughtful enough to do something.  Something that would let my son know that she was thinking of him and that he would be missed.  That one simple act alone changed my entire outlook.

But that's not all.  The next morning I checked my son's cell phone (yes, I'm a mom who does that) and I saw two video text messages from the night before.  They were from "his girls" and taken at the party.  They waved, sang and told him that he was missed. 

We hear all the time about how self-absorbed teens can be.  That is not my experience.  How can I NOT have hope for the future when these three young women are in it?  How can I NOT have hope for the future when a young woman who is 6 years older than my son (and in "kid years" that's a BIG range) sees past age, sex, race and considers my son a friend?
While I think these young women are exceptional, I don't they are alone.  Although they don't get front page headlines, I'm seeing more and more 
 examples of "children" (under the age of 18) and young adults (under the age of 25) behaving with compassion and dignity and/or speaking/leading with the conviction of their conscious in a respectful way.  They have been taught well and are now ready to lead the way.  

If we look; we CAN find it.  There is hope in our world.   Our youth are our hope.  Sit up.  Listen!  Pay attention!  They are the tiny drops that could one day fill an ocean; an ocean full of hope.


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