Learning my lines . . .
. . . discovering what it means to follow Jesus, seeing my story swept up into his . . .

Adolescent Realities. . . A Gut-Wrenching Poetic Peek Into Life In Today’s World. . . .

There’s very little that’s been written by generational theorists that sits well with me. The theorists I’ve read over the years typically function in a prophetic mode. They look ahead and speculate on the shape the next emerging generation will take. I’ve found them to be tied so closely to their views of history and far too loosely (if at all) to the meta-narrative of the biblical story that is working itself out in us and around us. What results is a less-than-realistic and far-too-optimistic sense of each generations commitments and potential impact on the world. Rarely, if ever, do their prophecies come to pass.

Pessimism isn’t a good posture either. . . especially for the Christian. We have hope. Realism is the posture we should assume. And the most realistic posture assumes from the start that we are all – old and young alike – horribly broken people. Our default setting is to pursue that which is destructive to human flourishing over and above that which leads to human flourishing. If that wasn’t the case, then we wouldn’t have any need at all for Jesus our Redeemer. So, we shouldn’t be surprised when our efforts to understand the emerging generations lead us to encounters with pain and heartache.

Earlier today, my Facebook newsfeed brought me face-to-face with a poem that, best I can tell, is written by a couple of young people about the realities facing their generation. Attributed to Zoe Tempesta and Lorna Stephenson, “Our Generation” offers a compelling look into the cultural pressures, anxieties, and confusion kids face in today’s world. At its end, the poem offers a few thoughts about us older people. . . parents in particular. It’s powerful.

I want to encourage you to give it a read. Then use it. How? Use it to open your eyes to what kids are facing in today’s world. Youth workers and parents should show it to the kids they know and love. Have them read it. Ask them if it speaks for them and their peers. If so, how does it speak? Use it as a diagnostic tool that can help you reboot your parenting or ministry efforts in ways that speak to the realities that exist in the world of your kids. Use it to discuss God’s story. . . Creation, Fall, Redemption, Restoration. . . and how they can find their place in it.

Our Generation- By Zoe Tempesta and Lorna Stephenson

our generationOur generation is so obsessed with the idea of perfection
Society has consumed us with the thought of how we are meant to be
At first it was skinny
Now it is thick
What’s next?
We are influenced by terms that are not even real words
Such as
Baddie
Thot
Swag
Icy
We look up to celebrities who are addicted to fame, drugs and money
They taught us quotes such as “Yolo” and “Turn down for what”
Lyrics have become angrier, raunchier, and discriminating
Is this really role model criteria?
All I see in high school is a bunch of people who hate each other pretending to be friends
It is no longer a place to learn
Instead it’s all about
Passing
Failing
Appearances
And who you surround yourself with
High school is hell
A girl cries
People laugh
She thought she could trust him
Now the whole school has seen her naked
A guy lets a girl know how beautiful she is to him
Screenshots
Tweets
100 Favorites
All because he sounded “Thirsty”
People aren’t even dating anymore
You only find “Things” “Hook ups” and “Friends with benefits”
We meet on twitter by “Sliding into dm’s”
Which leads to talking
Catching feelings
Sleeping together
And ending as strangers
This generation has lost the meaning of romance
We toss around “‘I love you’s” like they’re “‘Hello’s”
We give our bodies to people who don’t care
And we are judged by the amount of people we have let in
Our generation relies on alcohol, drugs, and parties
We drink to get drunk
Drunk texts
Drunk hook ups
Drunk driving
Drunk decisions
Drugs are easy to find
When stressed
When happy
When lonely
When bored
Parties are no longer about celebrations
It’s for
Beer pong
Shots
Smoking
Sex
Our generation tried to grow up too fast
People of this generation do not talk
Only exchange links
We are masked by computer and phone screens
Confrontation has turned into
140 characters
Text
Status
And if we are lucky, a phone call
Doorbells are not rung
Instead a “Here” text is sent
Rather than being ignored physically
It is now just a “Read” text
Yet, it still hurts just the same 
Because getting no message is also a message
Technology has ruined adventuring
We do not go out in the rain because our iPhones will be ruined
We do not camp because service is unavailable
We do not venture beyond places without outlets
Too many adolescents have addictions to superficial things
iPads, iPhones, tablets have substituted outdoor activities for Apps you can download freely
Parents complain all the time about this messed up generation
About how we are the wasted youth
But let’s not let them forget
They raised us
Times have changed
Parents have no idea what it’s like to be a teenager in this generation
We are constantly compared
Surrounded by peer pressure
And mislead by people who we thought cared
And even through all the bad, our generation still has hope 

 

 

 

 

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