Here is the link to the article:
From dealing with youth I know there are a lot of anxieties, frustrations and increasing pressures that they face daily. This article staggered even me with the depth of the problem. A few statistics from the article:
- 50 percent of college youth report feelings of hopelessness
- 1 in 3 have been so depressed in the last 12 months they could not function
- 22% of adolescent females from financially stable homes suffer from clinical depression
These numbers are staggering. And I believe we get so wrapped up in the frantic paced lives and impressive achievements of these youth that we fail to actual check on how they are doing emotionally. The assumption is that they high energy, successful exterior must be representative.of what is going on inside. Too often it appears that it is not.
the author goes on to talk about 3 questions that parents must be having with their young people. I think that these questions are spot on. I also know that our faith must be in the forefront in the answer to these questions.
- Who tells us who we are? God. I have a running 'joke' with my daughter. I ask her who is her favorite, seeking an answer between me and mom. Her response is always 'God'. It always makes me laugh but to be honest it is the best answer she can give. We are all children of God. He tells us emphatically how wondrous and perfect He has made us. This understanding needs to be in the forefront of our children's perception of who they are, immediately followed up by their parents love for them.
- Where do we want to go with our lives? Money. Security. Recognition of achievement. These things seem to be in the forefront. And I will say these are not bad things, unless they become THE things. I have had conversations with seniors in high school who have told me adults have told them the things they want to pursue are not worthwhile and they need to reconsider. They have been told to follow a path of success and security and NOT what they are passionate about. I have seen the result in adults who follow that path. It is horrific and life snuffing. Do we want kids who become mindless, over-stressed drones who continue this countries pattern of being overweight, over medicated and unhappy. God calls us all to be disciples and to proclaim the Good News in all we do. can you do that if you are miserable? We need to inspire our youth to utilize the gifts and talents God has given them to glorify Him, not make X amount of money so they will be comfortable.
- How do we want to get there? We follow God's Will. We love God first and foremost in our lives. Secondly we love each other. ALL the others. Not just the ones like us or the ones who don't offend us too much. And how do we do that exactly? Micah gave us a pretty good road map: Act Justly, love mercy and walk humbly with God. I think if we instill these things in our lives, most of the other details will work themselves out. But this only comes when parents spend time instructing their kids in this 'abnormal' lifestyle and try to live as examples for their kids daily. As parents we are the greatest indicator of how our kids will turn out.
Time. In the end it's the most important thing we can spend on our kids.