Monday, June 29, 2009

Today's young people

So, last week I told you I was chaperoning a bunch of young people for a few days. I love working with them. They really energize me, and this weekend reminded me why I write books for them. A lot of people talk about all the bad things that teenagers in this country are doing. Those who are doing great things don't get enough publicity, so I'm just going to use my little platform here to give them a bit of good press.

Here are just a few things that I heard or saw while I was there:

At the carnival that the kids put on:
--"This is the best day of my freaking life!" One 18 year old girl said. What had she been doing? Helping a special needs child play games. 

--A 15 year old boy cheering on and complimenting little kids playing a game he was running.

--A 17 year old girl walking around holding hands and guiding a special needs young man through the carnival. She was smiling and laughing and so was he. 

On campus:
--Young men and women holding doors open, getting drinks and treats, carrying suitcases, etc. for others.

At the talent show:
--Cheering for all acts no matter how amateur they were.

--A song of tribute for a young teenage girl killed in a car accident.

--A young man who has to work a lot harder at walking than the rest of us changing the sets and making sure everything was just right for each performance.

At the dances:
--Kids dancing with someone they wouldn't have chosen and enjoying it and being considerate.

--Dancing in groups so no one is left out.

--Those who know dances teaching those who don't rather than making fun.

I could keep going, but this is running long and you get the idea. Sure there were times when some fell short and weren't as considerate as they could be, but, in general, I saw so many things to make me proud of them. They made it easy and fun to be a chaperone for them. 

19 comments:

T. Anne said...

That's so wonderful! It's encouraging to hear. It's so rare to hear good things about people let alone teens.

Alyssa said...

I love that there are still people like this in the world. It's a happy thought.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I so agree. I look at my kids' friends and feel so good about our future. It sounds so corny but it's really true! There are great kids out there!

PJ Hoover said...

I love your post! And i love seeing all the wonderful things kids do. I agree! I am so impressed when I see stuff like this!

Cindy said...

What a great post! Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. It's so wonderful to hear how considerate people can still be--especially today's youth!

Solvang Sherrie said...

What a wonderful group of kids! Sounds like you had a great experience.

lotusgirl said...

Thanks, you guys! It is so nice to see kids doing such nice things. They are not all selfish and inconsiderate, in fact, many of them are sweet and kind.

Danyelle said...

Awesome! There are so many kids that do so much good in the world. It's good to hear about the good things for a change. :D

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Very cool. I'm 30 but I still dance at a studio where many classes are anywhere from 3-18. Many times they inspire or impress me with their talent or behavior. :)

Lady Glamis said...

Oh, Lois, that is so wonderful! I knew you would have a good time. I hope I get to chat with a bit about this. Such a great thing to be involved in!

Justus M. Bowman said...

Glad you and the teen heroes got along.

Rena said...

Great post!

Tess said...

Isnt it refreshing when you see the world that way? You are right...all the wonderful people (adults and kids) out there don't get nearly enough press. Kudos for highlighting them :D

The Snow Family said...

I love all those 'fly on the wall' moments you picked up on! You are so perceptive. It really was so fun to be with you and the girls were great! I haven't been on your blog forever, I am so behind in my blog reading. But I did just finish a good book... Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. Highly recommend it. The most fascinating part was learning about the author at the end! It would be a quick read for you. Love the book recommendations on your blog, I will have to pick a few of them up for summer reading!

Stephanie Perkins said...

This makes me teary. Thank you so much for sharing!

Pen Pen said...

Aww!! I'm so emotional today--I'm tearing up!! My big sis is special needs, and we went thru so much when she was young(kids would tie her pig tails together around a pole and leave her out at recess-lock her out and things like that. I got into many fights in elementary on account of the things that happened. She went to a "special" school thru high school, but after- she wanted to do a "vas" vocational program and it was thru the high school I was still attending(I'm 2 years younger). I was so worried because of what had happened in public school when we were young, but the people at my high school were just AMAZING! I was in band, orchestra, and dance. I remember being SO scared that she'd come home crying, but the was ALWAYS someone who knew me there watching out for her- saying hello to her- checking up on her. She tooka few actual classes like art and home ec. There were people I didn't even know personally who got to know her and helped her out. It became as if she was a sister to everyone at the school. The lead quarterback of the varisty football team sat next to her in art and I walked past the room one day and saw him helping her pin her painting to the wall. My heart fell to the floor, and is still there. She was also part of the "best buddies" program which pairs regular kids with special needs kids and they mentor them. She got the school mascot-Lindsay- as a best buddy, and EVERY time Lindsay comes home to see her parents even now, she picks Emmy up and they go shopping or to a movie, and she send her birthday cards- I will never doubt the love in a teen's heart again. I've seen some bad ones, but I've also seen so many that aren't even phased when a special needs kid wants to sit next to them at lunch-they embrace it and want to do good. It means SO much to the special needs child AND the family of that child to see people want to help and GENUINELY care--because we've seen SO many people look disgusted, or make fun of them.
Many of the kids from my high school stayed friends with my sis and she STILL talks to them on facebook. I'm not sure if I was just lucky and all the stars aligned for her when she went to the high school and those kids were great, or if it's this way everywhere--but I count us lucky, and it really opens up ur heart :)
By the who--It sounds as if ur helping with Special Olympics-Is that true?! My sis is in that! I'd love to know if ur involved in helping with that as well :) ...u can e-mail me at pcroberts18@gmail.com is u don't want to post that info :) -If u don't want to say at all-that's totally fine and I understand-but if u want to share---I'd be interested to know :)

Pen Pen said...

I write a lot when I'm interested in something...sorry I just left u a novel length comment :)

lotusgirl said...

I'm so glad that y'all enjoyed this snippet from my life. There are so many wonderful kids out there. It's important to me to highlight some of the things they do.

Pen Pen, This wasn't special olympics. It was a just a carnival put on by the kids, but I have helped with that in the past. It is such a great program. There's a special needs baseball program in our area that is really neat, and I've taken my kids out to help with that. It's so amazing to see kids helping kids that are different than themselves and being so incredibly kind. I'm glad your sister had such a great experience when she went back to the high school. I have found that if kids let themselves open up to the special needs kids the compassion in their hearts takes over and they love them. It's so good for both sides.

Kelly H-Y said...

What a wonderful post ... it warmed my heart and gave me [good] chills, all at once!!!