...our youth can succeed where we failed
I was interested to read in the newspaper this morning that Pope Benedict XVI told young pilgrims at an open-air mass in Sydney, Australia, "a spiritual desert" is spreading in the world and challenged them to shed the greed and cynicism of their time to create a new age of hope. He urged young Christians the world over to be agents of change because "the world needs renewal". It is encouraging for someone of my age to learn that the world's foremost spiritual leader has issued this mass appeal because, in my view, the world as we know it is rapidly going to Hell in a hand basket -- thanks in no small measure to my narcissistic, permissive, politically correct generation.
The Pope emphasized that in so many of our societies, side by side with material prosperity, a spiritual desert is spreading -- "an interior emptiness, an unnamed fear, a quiet sense of despair." He said that a new generation of Christians can build "a new age in which hope liberates us from the shallowness, apathy and self-absorption which deadens our souls and poisons our relationships."
I do not feel very proud of my pre-baby boom generation for contributing to the society that now finds itself facing these issues. We did not do a very good job in addressing the spiritual needs of our off springs. True, we led by example but, more often than not, our example was not conducive to passing on the best of our heritage. We were too busy making a living, happy with just getting by, content with providing the material necessities of life for our children and placing emphasis on having a good time wherever possible. No one will take it upon themselves, but we should admit that generally we have failed the current generation and apologize for our grave shortcoming.
Oh sure, peer generationists have paid lip service to "right living" and there is goodness and faith of some kind in every human being today, in the agnostic, even in the atheist. But don't look to those who have faith only in themselves to make any great contribution to society, now or in the future...Never have, never will!
What we need do now is to pray very hard that there are enough young people today, leaders of tomorrow, who are kind, giving and forgiving; who will espouse principled living; who will reach out to feed the hungry, to provide shelter for the homeless, to rescue the fallen. In short, positive role models are what we need now for future generations to emulate. Really, its called "the Christian way", a way that has been sadly eroded in my time.
The least I can say to my grand kids (Alyssa, Ryan, Becky, Joshua and Madison) is: "As you follow your life's destiny, please look for truth in all things and commit your heart, abilities and enthusiasm to making the world a better place, fostering hope and filling human needs where ever you see them. You can succeed where I have not. Give your old Poppa reason to be proud once again."
A thought for today...
Enthusiasm is the power and the health of the mind. Enthusiasm is the force that drives us. It is youth, ambition and will. Humans live and are worthwhile as long as enthusiasm lives. When enthusiasm dies, the person dies too, although they might not know it.