Sunday, August 01, 2004

Youth of Today: The Great Hope of Tomorrow

"I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm and spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me." These words were written by Unity's co-founder, Charles Fillmore, when he was 94.

That’s how I feel this morning! I am filled with optimism and hope today. Why, you ask? Because I have reason to believe that the youth of today are in the process of creating a much better world tomorrow.

Last night I was granted the privilege of being able to listen in to the conversation between two fourteen year old girls. One of them I know fairly well, she is a pretty, popular young woman and it is easy to see why—she is funny and good to be around. The other was new to me, she seemed to be a smart adolescent, with a very mischievous heart.

Thanks to them, I believe my music collection is about to have an infusion of youth. That is very welcome.

They are from a fairly rural community, about an hour from Dallas itself, forty minutes from the suburbs. Right in the middle of George Bush’s conservative base, the heartland of Texas. I heard them talk about a gay waiter who hit on a friend of theirs and they were giggling and silly and suddenly it hit me. they saw nothing in the world wrong with being gay or lesbian. Nothing at all.

Now I will admit, they come from interesting households, both of them are practicing Pagans (although one is exploring Christianity as well—good for her! She should explore everything faith and spirituality have to offer). Their mothers are Witches. But if I gather rightly, it was clear that their friends who practice Christianity (some of it deeply fundamentalist) are of like mind. Despite the fact that their communities, the churches and the schools are trying to sell them on the idea that gays and lesbians are immoral and unnatural, they are not buying. Not one little bit.

That is wonderful!

I love seeing the kids of today. In Garland and Richardson, I see kids and teens hanging out together with a casual multiculturalism that always cheers me. I see Asian guys holding hands with black girls. I see Hispanic girls kissing white guys. Sports teams with such a wonderful and varied assemblage of humanity that it seems impossible. The parents in the stands are still somewhat segregated; they have not learned the miracle from their children.

Back in college, fifteen years ago, I had a very, very bright history professor to whom I posed the question, are we as humans, any better than we were 2,000 years ago? Are we condemned to eternally being viciously cruel to each other? He considered the question very thoughtfully and replied that over the course of the 1800’s, worldwide, slavery became unacceptable. This institution of ownership of other human beings became, over the course of a century a reviled thing.

We still have slavery today. The difference is, there is now no question that it is wrong. It has to hide in dark corners because the light will end it. It cannot flourish in the light.

This next generation is not perfect, they are highly capable of atrocities. They are frighteningly sexually sophisticated, but why not? That is what pop culture sells them, and unlike discrimination, this they are buying. They don’t see any inherent wrong in it. Sadly, they can expect to receive emotional bruises and battering because pop culture does sell a mythologized sexuality. That sophistication exists on the surface, dealing with the mechanics of sex not with the complex internal emotional workings of sex. That kind of pain is okay, it is all part of growing up.

Overall though, I think the youth of today hold great promise and I look forward with enthusiasm to seeing how they handle the world when my generation and hands it off.

The last note I have is simply this: the joke is on the social conservatives. They are fighting like hell on the issue of homosexuality but they have already lost. They will age and pass on, and a generation that does not believe those lies will take over.

Just for today, I really like the human family. Wonderful, imperfect, selfish and giving, creative and unique, I am happy to be part of this great parade. Tomorrow is Monday and that is work and people will return to sucking, but for now, I will enjoy today.

Good Morning Goddess Brigit, my name is Andy and I am an alcoholic. Your grace and Your grace alone has kept me sober since Imbolc of 2001 and for that I am grateful. Please be with me today, all through the day and help me stay sober all day long. Today is a good day to be sober. Thy will not mine be done. Again, I thank You. Blessed Be.