While we’ve fared fairly well here in Central Pennsylvania, the fury that history will remember as “Hurricane Sandy” did a real number on the East Coast. . . particularly along the shoreline. Our beloved “Jersey Shore” got hammered. The photos of familiar places that no longer look at all familiar are difficult to view. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like for the people who live there.
The news reports have brought back memories of a childhood trip to Long Beach Island in the summer months after a particularly strong hurricane. I remember the spooky sight of seeing a house that had been lifted off its foundation sitting in the middle of the bay. That wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. It’s seared into my memory.
Not the way it’s supposed to be. . . That’s a good descriptor for much of what’s happening in today’s youth culture. It’s changing and changing fast. The perfect storm of a variety of emerging trends is coming together to change the landscape in big ways. Several months ago, I was speaking to a group of parents, youth workers, pastors, and educators in the Midwest about today’s rapidly changing youth culture. During the morning break, a man approached me to say “thanks.” “My wife and I have both been teaching in the local public school district for over 30 years,” he said. “What you’re telling us today about youth culture is so true. What everyone in this room needs to know is that the high school student I’m teaching today, is nothing at all like the high school student I was teaching five years ago. Everything has changed.” Really? Yep. His words are true.