These teens are our future!

Today as I waited for my daughter to come out of her middle school building, I silently watched other students exit. Just as I have done, almost every day of the school year, for the past two years. I saw teens that I have seen so many times before. But today was a different day, a different outfit, different shoes, different boyfriend/girlfriend, hair styled a little bit ... or drastically...different. Still, I saw the same teens. Some are always in a hurry...rushing from the school...because time matters. Others slowly stroll past me...the hectic day now finished. But is their hectic day over? Where do they go next, and what awaits them at their next destination?

Today I was struck by a change in the air. I wondered about their journeys through life. What is it like to walk in the shoes of a teenager today? What challenges do they face everyday? Is home a safe refuge? Or is school the safe refuge? These young ones are just discovering who they are as individuals.

As they crossed the school grounds, the emotions upon their faces were as diverse as the people themselves. Some are always smiling, happy, laughing, chatting, flirting. Some are always somber, hurting, sometimes crying. What are they truly feeling inside? Does our ever-changing world frighten them, or will they embrace the challenges, and become successful in their own right? Which of these individuals will become tomorrow's villains, and which will become the heroes?
Some of the students seem to exude an "I don't care attitude." Are they shouting out for people  to understand them? See me...acknowledge me...forget-me-not! These teens are our future! I felt an overwhelming sense of empathy for them, and my eyes got misty for a moment (the hauntingly sad song playing on the radio seemed to add to the melancholy moment). 

I hope their future will be everything...and then some! Rewarding, endearing, satisfying, loving, happy, gentle, and kind. I hope the same for our future!

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