Why Us?

Laughter, Tears, and Our Teen Years, by McKennaugh

Last week, we were birthday shopping for my Dad and we wandered into Barnes and Noble in hopes to find a good Dutch Oven (you know, those big cast iron pots to go over the fire) cookbook. Well, Mom and I together in a bookstore is slightly time consuming, because we both love to read and plus Mom takes just a little more time than usual to decide on purchases. Since we were there for little bit of time (like 15 hours) I walked over to the teen fiction section. In front of me were novels on romance (not good, happy, lovey stuff, either), horror, murder and about any other dark subject you can think of. Many of them were bestsellers. People say that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but I didn’t have to open them to know that I certainly wouldn’t want to see what was inside.

That huge shelf of teen books in Barnes and Noble bothered me the whole drive home and I still couldn’t stop thinking about it the next day. I was wondering, why us? Why does the world expect teens to go wild for trash that nobody should read?? I know the devil knows that we are the next generation, we are the future, so why would he want us to grow up surrounded by things that make us think about making a difference, raising godly families or having godly relationships? He tries to toss as much stuff into our path to pull us down so we can never become anything for God’s kingdom.

The next time you go someplace, look around. There’s clothes that, once on, show stuff no one should be able to see; board and video games that promote war and witchcraft; movies that should be PG-200 (or in other words, not watched!) and, of course, those books.

The really sad thing is, adults often think about teens being poorly influenced by peers, but not very often do they think about that influence coming from adults. I really doubt any of the books I saw were by teen authors. And when you see somebody flaunting that new top, well, how many 15-year-olds are fashion designers? How many young adults own a video game company? You get the idea. Adults ask why this generation is so off track, but forget to see that, perhaps, they need to change their ways just as much we need to change ours. Why does everyone think we have a taste for horror, immorality, and cruelty? Why can’t we trust those who are older and supposedly wiser to stock the shelves with things that don’t poison our minds?

Remember, we don’t have to run after the latest trend. Just because those things are out there and labeled for teens, doesn’t that mean we have to look at them or buy them. It’s about time that we teach the world a lesson or two on who we really are. –McKennaugh

McKennaugh Kelley (mckennaugh@ inbox.com) is sixteen years old. She lives in Troy, Pennsylvania with a handful of crazy, creative, but mostly wonderful little brothers.

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  1. Wow–very nicely phrased! You really thought about this, and you’re very right. We are influenced by the adults in our world as well as teens, perhaps more by the adults because that is what we aspire to be. I read a huge amount,and I’ll read almost anything, but I will agree with you on the teen selection that is presented to us. If we read the books placed on the best seller shelf, we will certainly be led astray. Not only do they sell ideals that are far from perfect, and in many cases, harmful to us, look at their quality of writing. Are we so stupid that this is the level of intelligence adults expect us to have?
    This is a great article; well written and well thought out! Keep up the good work!

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