Sunday, September 13, 2009

Little Green People on Earth?

I'm really not a judgmental guy. Sometimes I may sound that way. When I watch adolescent boys and girls I find myself thinking, "I was never like that was I?" Then I think, "Yah, I was." But then I think, "What's the biggest difference I see between me, then, and what I observe now?" Two things come to mind, and I attribute them both to changes in our culture's mindset. I heard of someone who put green dye in her fish pond. The fish remained healthy, they acted like fish just as they had before--but they turned green! All that to say, I don't think it's the kids' fault any more than turning green could be blamed on those fish.

I can summarize the "two things" with the words "sex" and "bearing." "Sex" is my reference to the--and I really hesitate to use this term--pornographic influences we all seen in our culture and the impact these have on us all, particularly our young adults. Where can anyone turn and not hear or see some message about sex, and I don't mean just differences in gender? These messages saturate our media and marketing efforts. Unsubtly they dare young adults to be sexually active as early as they can. For the rest of us we're challenged (from a bathtub on a lonely beach!) to hang onto the sexual sizzle as far into our geriatric decades as we can.

"Bearing" is my reference to someone's personal conviction around a life purpose and his or her motivation and grit to tenaciously chase it. By contrast, and for example, much has been written about the upward trend in our nation's high school drop-out rate, about young men's (and women's) curious inclination to freeload at their parents' home through their 20s and early thirties, and about the grip binge drinking has on the high school and collegiate crowd.

The things that make romance smarter can have a near magical influence in adolescents' lives. Among those I'm privileged to observe around me day-to-day, I wonder who among them won't turn "green?"

Till next time, be yourself, have smart.

(PS: You can see that romantic sunset on the bay front at Newport, Oregon)

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