Our Young People

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations, once said, “"Young people should be at the forefront of global change and innovation. Empowered, they can be key agents for development and peace. If, however, they are left on society's margins, all of us will be impoverished. Let us ensure that all young people have every opportunity to participate fully in the lives of their societies."

Have we, as a society, somehow failed our young people? In a world where adults seem to be fighting about everything and anything, I can understand how the young get confused and disheartened. Do they turn to violence out of frustration, boredom, revenge, disillusionment?

There have been way too many young people in our community to lose their lives and way too many others whose lives have been destroyed.

Living in a rural community, many of our youth are taught how to handle and fire weapons at an early age. And, more and more, they seem to be using those weapons against each other. They seem to use guns as a method of intimidation, but it often ends in death.

I am tired of seeing our young people destroy their lives for no reason. It is time to break that cycle. We have to rally to end the violence. It really does take a village to raise a child. “It takes a village to raise a child" is an African proverb that means that an entire community of people must interact with children for those “children to experience and grow in a safe and healthy environment.”

I challenge you to find a young person and be their shining light. Make a difference in their lives by simply being there when they need an ear. You will find they bring you as much joy as you give them... and you just might change the future for the better.

If your heart leads you in the direction to even do more, consider becoming a foster parent. There are so many children in the Mississippi County system with nowhere to go. If they stay lost in the system, where do you think they will be in a few years?

Now, for the tough love... If you are a parent and you do not know where your children are after dark, grow up. These children are ultimately your responsibility and they deserve your attention and your love. They are not their grandparent’s responsibility or the school’s responsibility or the church’s responsibility. Thank the Lord, all three are willing to assist, but you must rise to the challenge to lead and direct your own child.

Don’t get me wrong, I know that sometimes no matter what a parent, grandparent, guardian etc. does, they may still make bad choices. We all do! God gives us all free will. Just be the light!

Rot T. Bennett once said, “Shine your light and make a positive impact on the world; there is nothing so honorable as helping improve the lives of others.”

Prayers for all our young people. If you need me, you know where I am.