Saturday, April 17, 2010

Defining a Generation: the Myth of Adolecene

It's been a while since I've done a real post, and I thought it was high time I added another part to the Defining a Generation series.

The Myth of Adolecence

What is it? To understand this, you must understand from where the concept comes. Nearly four years ago, two 16 year old twin brothers started on a journey of self-growth. In 2010 they have interned for the Alabama Supreme Court, headed several state wide re-election campaigns, written two best selling books, traveled the world, and headed a series of forums and conferences. All by age 20. The "they" are the Harris twins, Alex and Brett, and they call their movement The Rebelution


I would like to pause here and explain: I am a born-again Christian and I love my God. I enjoy talking about things I love, thus, I will talk about my Savior. This video (taken from one of the recent rebelution articles) explains where I stand in my religion... or rather my faith. I am by no means a religious person. In fact, I hate religion - it's my Lord I love and serve.


In 2005,  the Harris brothers wrote a series of articles on rebelling against the cultural norms. Many other teenagers caught their infectious spirit and thus was born a "rebelution." They proposed that American society was wasting their best asset, the minds and talents of teenagers. 

And they're absolutely correct.  As a younger generation we have vision and energy. We are ripe for innovating and shaping our culture. So why are we wasting it? Have we let society tell us for so long that we are "too young" and "too inexperienced"? Weren't some of the greatest men and women, the shakers and movers of history, teens? 

Child-like not Childish

The best type of faith (be it religious or not) is a child-like faith. I remember thinking about this topic one day late last autumn. Then it hit me. I had been taught all my life to have a "child-like faith." Never once had anyone seen fit to explain the difference between Child-like and Childish. My whole life I had thought there was no difference. How many others, I wondered, are trapped in the same mindset?

Have you ever spent much time around young children? Their world is filled with firsts - scintillating with exploration and adventure. Their observations are profound, and simultaneously simplistic. Nothing ceases to amaze them, and their discoveries are shared with any welcoming face. Life is wonderful. And that is that.

Role Reversal

Precocious kids are interesting creatures. Ever met one? That would be the girl wearing her mother's high heels and pearls, ordering others like she owns the world. She's ambitious and spunky - nothing (other than her parents "no") will hold her back. Her future careers goals include doctor, mother, lawyer, and princess. Perhaps a part-time job as president. 

What happens to that drive when she becomes a teenager? Why does our social standing revert once we reached that fabled land of "teenagedom"? Expectations go from major leagues to back yard baseball (if that). Adolescences are expected to be a wast of space; only consuming, never producing. (Notice a difference in the pictures I chose?) Teens, myself included, need to seize this crucial period and use it to mold themselves into adults. Paul said in 1 Cor 13:11 "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

So what does this mean? "Teenagedom" does not exist! We are either children or adults. Society has only fabricated the "teen years" to validate laziness. It's the reason why we're stuck with "Kidults," adults that never grew up mentally. 

I really recommend, non-believers included, Do Hard Things. It's a fantastic look into this topic and worth every penny. The Harris twins also recently published START HERE, an idea booklet for beginning the life changing ideas discussed in Do Hard Things. Pick it up and tell me what you think. It definitely is great mind fodder.
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