It's heard all the time: the world is doomed because our children can't be trusted to lead us into (or in) the future. I'm sure this has been a popular sentiment since the Dawn of Man.
I don't have anything deep and meaningful to say, specifically, on the subject, only to say that I don't agree.
I don't really know that many "kids" other than my own. They're 9 and 10, and it's a little soon to imagine them running anything.
I interact a bit with younger people at some local coffee houses. They might be rowdy in groups, but when they actually talk to me, the same ones aren't bad. The younger gym set is about the same. Not too bad.
Over on the JPFitness forums, I've gotten to know a few of the next generation. I'd count several as friends, even. Three, in particular, have really impressed me.
One is an Eagle Scout, athlete, church goer, excellent student, etc. The guy's so busy that he really has all the room in the world to complain. He doesn't. He talks about how busy he is, then gets it all done. I wish he lived on my street so my son and I could get to know him. He's someone I could point to as a teenager with great character and strength of will. It's hard to imagine him not doing anything he wants to do in life.
Two is simply a genius (or close to it, at least). While anyone can be quick witted with a good fart joke, this girl's mind spins a more sophisticated joke faster than I can head off. And, when you think it's done, it comes around to get you from behind. It's unlikely that a good laugh will keep the world on an even keel, but it can't hurt. What really strikes me is the dedication. Again, she's busy enough that many would give up, but she hasn't. When I talk to her, her character shines right through, plain as day. I don't really know what she wants to do with her life, but she knows what she wants out of life. That's far more important, I think.
Three, I've actually met. He thinks people don't take him seriously because he's a goofball. But, we can see through that. When we met, he walked up to me, offered his hand, and introduced himself. I don't know if he could tell I was nervous to meet new people or if that's just him. Either way, a young man that takes the initiative in those situations will take the initiative in many more. He's worried because he doesn't know exactly what he wants to do. But, what he doesn't see is that he's still doing all the right things. Most people who don't know, just wait and do nothing. Analysis paralysis. I don't see that happening here. Nothing to worry about. I have to mention this guy's character, too. He does the right thing for others, even when it benefits himself less. I'm not a believer in karma, but I do believe that others see you, your character, and your actions, and give back when they can. That's better than karma in my book.
I'm sure these three aren't the only ones with this much going for them. I'm hoping they are like roaches: Where there's one, there's a thousand!