By Brittany Nichole Collett
Is this the generation of change? I hope so. And hopefully, after you have finished reading this article you will know what to do to change it.
If we looked at the biggest difference between, say, a fifteen-year old and a thirty-year old, what will we see? We may notice that adults tend to have a higher maturity level, are more responsible, and tend to have more respect for authority. I have noticed that what we call “adult” (in other words, someone who reaches the age of 18) is not really an adult at all. People set low expectations for teens but they also set them, sometimes even lower, for young adults. Teenagers think, “After high school, I will start acting like an adult.” But peer pressure comes in, and they start acting even less mature than usual.
Low expectations are creeping into even older age groups. Why? There are several reasons. For one, life is “easier” now with technology, allowing people more free time. Two, people have been liking more and more the thought of “enjoying life” before you needing to get responsible. But when lower expectations are set for them now, lower expectations are set for them in the future. How do we change this? If you have read Do Hard Things, you probably will know: change the way we act. Changing the way we act is the root of it all. Not all of us have the time, opportunity or ability to graduate early or be a teen campaign manager; but this is something everyone can do.
What will we do differently? You may want to brainstorm, but here are some ideas:
Be less dramatic. This is one of the key things people think about when they hear “teen”.
Act older. This one is not all that hard. It is pretty easy for people to think you are a couple years older. Simply imitate the manner of people older than you – people who are mature and responsible.
Spend your time more wisely. Suffering grades are not impressive, and they certainly do not show maturity. Nearly everyone would rather be with their friends, or watching a movie – but take the time to study. It will be worth it. Managing your time wisely not only shows maturity, but responsibility, self-control, and competence.
Do not be too loud. Ever passed a group of teens talking loudly, with everyone just looking at them, at shaking their heads? You do not want to be classified with this group.
There are a multitude of other things. Go ahead, make a list, you may be surprised. This is what we can actively do in our everyday life.
We can also encourage others to join the Rebelution cause. The Rebelution is a movement of teenagers against low expectations as outlined in the book Do Hard Things. Imagine, multitudes of people rising above their expectations, doing hard things, little things, big things; while helping the world and changing their views on teenagers. When people notice your high maturity level, tell them about your cause. It is time to take action.
Let us say there are seven billion teens in America, and that 50,000 of them have joined the Rebelution. If each of those 50,000 people were able to get five people to join the Rebelution cause each year there would be 250,000 Rebelutionaries next year. If those 250,000 did the same thing there would be a total of 1,250,000 people living out the Rebelution! If this happened yet again; in five years that number would rise to 156,250,000! I think you get the point.
It is estimated that the average person meets a hundred thousand people in their lifetime. This process should not be too hard. Even something as simple as being friendly to the cashier or waitress; or reading Do Hard Things while waiting in the sitting room for your doctors appointment. Personally I love to read, and I find it very common for people to ask me what I am reading. It makes a great conversation starter, and a time to explain your cause.
This is the generation of change, what will that change be? Change comes from people; so I will quote Mahatma Gandhi: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.”
So go, take a stand, spread the word, and change yourself.
Brittany Nichole Collett, 14, is a member of the VDP Student Leadership Society (http://www.valiantdefendersparty.com), an organization and network of Christian students, mostly from an alternative education background, all around the world representing the new generation for His glory.