There is little we can do to prepare for some of life's best moments, yet everything we've ever done has prepared us for each one.
Graduation season has come and gone here in North Carolina. Emotions run the gamut as young men and women everywhere experience that final trip through the doors of their schools as students. Most will reflect fondly on the days they spent preparing to launch into the world. They'll begin writing their own stories. And like every generation before them, both friendships and rivalries they swore would last forever will begin to fade as others grow. Of one thing they can be certain: relationships with fellow students, educators and even their families will all change in some way as they continue their journey through life.
Of all the things that could possibly cause me anxiety, concern for future generations is somewhere near the top of the list. This is partly because of their expectations and partly because of the condition of the world we're leaving them. Not the physical world, but the condition of mankind in general. Somewhere along the line, we seem to have taught young people in America that winning is more important than character. The very people who we need to be able to look up to are failing and falling around us. And we are too quick to condemn and step around them to notice and avoid the brokenness that led them there in the first place.
So, can we change the course? Can we raise up a generation of leaders with the intestinal fortitude to right the many wrongs we've left them to deal with? As a person of faith, I believe we can, and it's really a matter of moral integrity stemming from deep convictions and an acknowledgment of a creator to whom we're all accountable. Yes, God. Many will disagree and stop reading right here, so if you're still with me, maybe we agree — if only a little.
Our real problems begin at home. There's a growing indifference to patterns of behavior that erode families, from what we allow to enter through the television screen to our relationships with our children's friends and their families. Everyone knows the phrase “it takes a village," but when the village steps in with advice, it's too often taken as a personal affront. And someone stomps away only to return with a posse willing to prove how wrong the offender is and how the mob can destroy them and their way of thinking.
What we've reaped so far is an unhappier, less fulfilled and definitely angrier world. We can do so much better. By modeling love, respect, kindness and accountability to our children, we can begin to right this ship. A short trip through the red letters in the Bible will yield a wealth of wisdom we can use to prepare our children for what lies ahead. And when we begin to embrace and adopt those words in our own lives, we will see a change for the better in the mirror as well.