I wonder, why are we so astonished when young people act selfishly and with total disregard for their fellow citizens when politicians and leaders do the very same thing, all the time? Why should we expect anything different form our youth if our own politicians are greedy, selfish, and self-centered?
I don’t normally delve into discussing politics. It’s not that I don’t care or that I don’t have an opinion, as I definitely do on both accounts. I simply don’t believe politicians alone can or will make any significantly positive changes for our country. I believe “we, the people” are the only ones that can change our nation by changing hearts and lives on a much more personal level.
That being said, I just might be dipping a toe, or maybe two, ever so lightly into the realm of politics today.
I read recently a post by Lanterns’ own Jonathon Dunne. On Facebook Jonathon wrote the following:
“I am confused about some of my friends on the right and their actions over the last few months and especially last 48 hours.
I am used to the "right" being the party of less taxes. Yet over the last 48 hours I have seen more posts in joy about this 20% tariff on Mexico...
Since when is the problem in America that there are not enough taxes for the ordinary people to pay. Since when is the problem that the government does not take enough revenue?
I am also troubled about the amount of people who think this is a tax on Mexico. It is not!!! It is a tax on the American people and a tax each of you will pay if you buy Mexican products.
PS. For those of you who read this post and think - Oh there goes John again with anti-Trump hate. Please know you are wrong.
I know why Trump wants it... My concern is why YOU are supporting it."
My first reaction to Jonathon's post about the 20% tariff on Mexico was to believe that our politicians will likely support this because "they can't think beyond their own wallets." But then something else came to my mind. I replied to Jonathon's comment saying, “and people are astonished when our youth are selfish and self-centered? Oh what a mess we have!"
Please understand I'm not speaking of all politicians or all the youth in our country. I know there are politicians who care about our country and her citizens. I know there are wonderful, intelligent, and kind youth in our country. I'm very proud to include my grandchildren and other youth that I know personally in that group of young people who are not selfish or self-centered, who are respectful, caring, and giving.
Unfortunately, just like the politicians who "can't see beyond their own wallets," there are also too many young people who can't see beyond their own immediate wants or their misguided beliefs. They listen only to the slanted media and political activists who want only one thing, to destroy our country and our way of life. They riot and protest, and they seem to think violence is the solution to getting what they want. This is not that different from a 2-year-old throwing a tantrum.
FYI, this is not anything new. These types of protests started back in the 60's. For example, UC Berkely is the site of more than one of these protests, where then California Governor Reagan had to call in the National Guard.
I don't have a problem with a peaceful protest. Sometimes protesting is a necessary step to change, but violent protests don't solve or change anything. They only cause more violence.
Back to problem at hand, bad behavior from our youth. Why do we need to fix this problem? That question is easy to answer: These young people will be our politicians and leaders of the future.
But how do we fix this problem?
Consequences. Obviously we have to have consequences for our actions, at 2 years old throwing a tantrum, at 20 years and protesting on campus or in the streets, and at 40 years old as politician or leader that doesn’t look out for the best interests of those they are responsible to and for. Consequences. But that is another subject for another day, and I shouldn't even have to go there.
There's another equally important part to solving this behavior problem: Our young people need to be reached on a more personal level. We cannot depend on the government, politicians, political activists, schools or, in some cases, not even their parents to show our young people what acceptable behavior looks like. It comes right back to what I said earlier: If we want to change their lives, we have to change their hearts. Then we will change the people and change our country.
It starts with us.
Do I have all the answers? No. I can only do what I can do. You can only do what you can do. But that's how it starts. One word, one act of kindness, one heart, one life, one person at a time. Truthfully, it won't happen overnight. It will take time, and patience and kindness and truth!
What are we waiting for? Let's start changing some hearts!
Featured image via Flickr