This will be available on BBC iPlayer for seven days at 1 hour 26 minutes into the programme. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0680ryy
Young People Nowadays
The phrase, “Young People Nowadays” is followed frequently with a negative assessment or criticism. There seems to be an assumption that previous generations were perfection personified and that “Young People Nowadays” are thoughtless, selfish and just downright untidy.
I’d like to challenge these assumptions because, in my experience, the vast majority of young people are hardworking and thoughtful. They are passionate about any number of good causes; often giving time and energy to work for other people. Young people want to make the world a better place. They care about the environment; they worry about refugees; they’re frustrated by government policies … and they want to do something to stand up to the complacency and indifference that they find in the adult world.
Just this week I was on a bus. It was fairly full. In front of me two boys were sitting, totally engrossed in their conversation about rugby! I’d guess they were Year 10 or thereabouts.
As we drew near to a bus stop I noticed, among the half dozen folk waiting, that there were two ladies who each had a young child in a pushchair. In spite of their chat, the teenagers clearly saw them as well.
Before the vehicle had even stopped, the pair of lads had jumped up, retreated to the back of the bus, and continued to stand for the remainder of the journey. Clearly this small act of thoughtfulness was so much part of their natural behaviour that they didn’t even have to think about it … nor did someone need to give them a dirty look or make the suggestion to them. And they certainly didn’t do it for any praise or glory.
It’s doubtful if the two ladies realized what had happened … but you could see the relief on their faces as they found seats at the front of the bus.
This very small incident reminded me of a story that Jesus told … he said that acts of kindness such as : giving food to the hungry, providing clothes to the needy, showing care for the vulnerable … all of these are interpreted as if they were being done to Jesus himself.
In the words of an older translation of the Bible: “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
Perhaps today we might look for a chance to do some act of kindness to another person.