Today’s Youths Have a Fantastic Future

I spent last week with eighty-five young men at a National Youth
Leadership Training (NYLT) course for the Boy Scouts. NYLT is a
leadership development program for boys thirteen and over who are
at least First Class scouts.

I am an adult leader and was the scoutmaster for one of the
troops. A Boy Scout troop is led by the boys themselves, and the
scoutmaster is the lead adult whose primary role is guiding the
senior patrol leader and making sure everyone is safe.

Watching my youth staff work with and train the boys was
inspiring. The effort and hours the youth staff put into the
staff development weekends before and during the course were
impressive. They were all committed to ensuring the participants
learned what they were teaching and that everyone had fun and was
safe.

The boys maintained a positive, can-do attitude and worked
energetically despite being challenged by storms, lack of sleep,
and situations with participants who didn’t get it as fast as
some others.

It appears there are many opportunities for today’s youths. Yes,
there are many challenges facing them-there always have been-but
the young people who create their own vision and put their mind
toward making it happen can accomplish amazing things.

Our youths of today have many opportunities to show what they can
do. They have different skills and thoughts than we adults do,
and they are ready to face a different world than the one we grew
up in.

This quote from Socrates has given me hope for all young people,
no matter when they live:

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter
in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the
room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company;
gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.” Socrates, 470
BC-399 BC.

Adults have been concerned about youths for over 2,400 years, yet
the world continues. Today’s youths become tomorrow’s older
citizens who then become concerned about the youths.

My week with those eighty-five young men has renewed my
conviction that the majority of today’s youths are good people
trying to make their way in a constantly changing world. Unsure
of their futures, they are working at becoming the best they can
be.

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