6 Things We can Teach Young People

By My Act III on Apr 06, 2015 at 03:52 PM in Relationships, Interests, My Act III

Every generation is exposed to different circumstances that build habits, characteristics and outlooks that may not be seen as useful to the next generations. However, life is not stable. As the saying goes what goes around comes around. So, it is likely that society needs, or will need, what it once discarded. The older generation has long been entrusted with keeping the memories of society in order to call upon what once was discarded, at the moment of need.
While we still have many years ahead of us to hone the skills of wisdom warriors, we can foretell some of the areas that will need the wisdom of the past.

1. Be accountable for your own actions: When we were growing up, society was not as litigious as today. If you got an F on your homework, it was because you did not study. If you skinned your knee on the school playground, you did not demand that the school replace the concrete with a softer skin-gentle surface. As a result we looked to ourselves to correct things and we developed a sense of responsibility, and a sense of confidence. We learned that our actions had consequences and that we could change our consequences by changing our actions. We learned we were in control. When we did not understand the algebra homework, we worked on it a little longer, learning in the process, that persistence pays off. Persistence is more important than innate capabilities. The easy way is not always the best way.
We need to demonstrate the way we accept responsibility for our actions. Tell the stories of how you took responsibility for your mistakes and benefited from your corrective action. Encourage those moments when you see someone take responsibility, and comment on how proud you are of their action.

2. Art of conversation: Baby boomers grew up talking to people face to face. We would call our friends and talk on the phone until our parents told us they needed to make a phone call. We had one or two best friends and spent hours probing the deep issues of life (boyfriends, girlfriends, and the unreasonable expectations of teachers). Today’s youth boasts of the 400-600 friends that they have on social internet sites. Depth of the conversation has been replaced by the frequency of connections. We can teach youth to listen, to reflect on the thoughts of others and to keep information confidential.

The best way to teach this is to be the listener. Start when your grandchild is very young to explore a story, hear their thoughts, and ask for their opinion. Teach them the value of listening, of caring, and of valuing their words. Turn off your own gadgets and listen.

3. Art of listening: There is nothing more important than the presence of another person. The person in front of you is more important than the 10 tweets that just came in on your phone or device. Look into the eyes of the person next to you; hear their words; feel their pain, joy, their emotions. Touch their souls.

Model it!

4. Learn everything: When we were kids, we learned to tie knots ten different ways. We learned to paint, do light plumbing, sew, play an instrument, change a tire. We were not allowed to judge if it was useful, joyful or necessary. We learned it because we had a person available to teach it. Today’s youth thinks that they can hire things done that they do not want to do themselves. Why make something if you can buy it at the store? Who cares what kind of knot it is? Funny thing is, life will require you to play many roles. You never know how a skill you learned when the opportunity was there will find its way into your life. Do not assume what is or is not important to learn.

Start early to teach what you know to others. Someone will be willing to learn—find a way of reaching them.

5. Learn to work with your hands: In a world of electronics and video games, few youth know how to work with their hands. It is imperative to share the arts and trades of human history. If you can whittle, sew, embroider, work wood, weld, blow glass, paint or build a cabinet, you are a national living treasure. Pass on these arts and trades of human history.
See above.
6. Act with integrity: As a society, we have become more concerned with appearing politically correct and thoughts of rights and wrongs have been replaced by rules, regulations, standard operating procedures and laws. We have made the mistake of thinking that morality can be legislated and a law is equal to being right. Younger generations need a moral standard, the ability to know when your standard of right and wrong has been crossed. Political correctness has been expressed as tolerance; avoidance of sensitive issues and attitude summed up in the youth’s mantra, “whatever, no worries.” A social mask has taken the place of genuine expression.

Demonstrate your own integrity. Fight to correct a wrong. Explain why you are doing it.

My Act III

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