Sometimes even one of my pre-teen books was part of the problem.
Not that my mom’s ethos didn’t play a role, however.
One book I enjoyed as a 10 year-old was “Onion John.”
And I don’t think my mom had anything to do with it.
The book came from my elderly aunt from Chicago who taught school there for about 119 years. (the poor kids…)
On every one of my birthdays (until I turned 13) she’d send me a Caldecott or Newbery Award Winner.
After that she’d mail a savings bond.
I would’ve preferred baseball cards, but I can’t complain.
Not every kid gets to grow up with an aunt far away who’s faithful about remembering birthdays.
One of the reasons I enjoyed “Onion John” was because the plot centered around an older man helping a young boy grow into a solid young man.
This old school “mentoring model” fit my mom’s approach to life to a T.
As she had one constant rule.
Always respect adults.
Somethings NEVER changed in her way of thinking and minding your elders was one of them.
So, with her (rarely used, but memorable) wooden spoon always nearby, my mom usually got “buy-in” from my brothers and me with minimal fuss.
It seems strange today to have been raised in a era where NO adult was ever wrong in the eyes of my parents.
Whether it was a teacher, coach, neighbor lady, bus driver, store clerk, or just an older stranger on a public sidewalk, if ever I griped about an adult treating me badly in some way, my parents would respond, “Well, they must’ve had a reason. What’d you do?”
Of course, I’m not talking about an adult committing inappropriate conduct or criminal behavior here.
My parents weren’t fools. They wouldn’t tolerate that.
It’s just that if I was alive and kicking and seemingly no worse for wear, my parents always gave other adults (any adult!), the benefit of the doubt.
It never would’ve occurred to them rush to the phone and CALL SAM.
Believing that older people were the best sources for good answers worked out well for me for a long time.
But the 21st century hit and dang – it was younger people who all of a sudden (it seemed) had the knowledge, experience, and skills I needed to tap into.
I know you know what I mean.
I wish I had got onto this shift sooner.
Young people have new ways and new perspectives, many of them important for us to appreciate and value.
Here’s an example… that if you can spare 16 minutes this weekend… will really get you thinking.
His story is both sensational and thought-provoking because it’s reminiscent of Rip Van Winkle.
In short, Hossein was crazy active online and then went to prison in 2008 for 6 years, where he was totally cut off from everything to do with cyberspace.
His story describes his reaction to the “new and different” online world that was there awaiting for him once he served his sentence.
I was surprised to see that he’s saddened by the way things are and where they’re all going.
It’s young person’s perspective shaped by some pretty incredible circumstances.
You’ll see why a number of communication experts have ranked Hossein’s article as one of the best they’ve seen in the last five years.
It’s well written and it’ll broaden your own thinking.
At least it did mine… no small task!
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