I wonder about how today’s youth sees the world. Do they still have the same crazy biases our parents grew up with that we are learning to shed? Well, today I had a refreshing conversation with a high school student who really got it.
He was talking about how terribly we treat each other based on ethnicity. And he was not a person of color. In fact, he worked in a completely white environment, but he was very tuned into history and took note of the treatment of people of color by those around him. He seemed amazed that in this day and age we still treat each other with so much disrespect and hatred. He just didn’t see the point and felt like it keeps setting us back. I had to agree.
I told him that much of that behavior unfortunately, is historical, and we aren’t particularly good at learning from our past. We continue to repeat the same ridiculous behavior through generations until each generation wakes up a little bit more. I have to admit I’m heartened by all the activism that I see emerging and the number of allies popping up in unexpected places and showing up for one another in amazing and unexpected ways. But I still feel like we could be doing a whole lot more and taking care of each other far better than we currently do right now.
So when he was disturbed by the trend that continues, I felt hopeful that maybe this new crop of kids coming up will do it much better than we ever did. And will impart that wisdom to their children who will do it much better than they did. And so on.
Perhaps they will take a good hard look at history and realize, finally, that a fear-based world falls short and is brutish and difficult—and quite frankly primitive. And hopefully, they will take up the mantle of love and spread it to everyone so we can move forward in a whole new way.