Wednesday, November 1, 2017

On Youth

People often have trouble believing that I am *cough*sputter*cough* years old. It turns out that the single genetic gift my parents bestowed upon me (sorry, but it's true) is a young-looking face. Sometimes this works in my favor, such as when I was employed by a high school and needed to be able to connect with teenage students. Other times, it's a burden; people decline to take me seriously because I must have less experience or education.

Speaking as someone who is old enough to have finished grad school in 2012(!), though, I assure you that I've been through some shit (both personally and professionally), and the government has been trusting me to drive, consume alcohol, and vote for some time now. I've suffered through my quarter-life crisis, and my childhood pets are long gone. And I've reached an age that even adults consider to be adult-like.

But on the other hand, let's not discount youth! Young people--let's say 16-26--often have insights that full-blown adults do not, simply because adults have too much baggage and experience behind them to look at certain events or problems with fresh eyes. They are also full of energy, and some of them still have that boundless capacity for love and friendship that the rest of us have lost. Oftentimes, I've found that the creativity of young people far exceeds that of adults, because they are still at a time in life when others actively encourage their unusual points of view or their creative bents. 

I think youth is a good thing, and young people are an asset to our society. Let's not give them such short shrift. After all, as Whitney said, the children are our future.


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