The problem with youth is that it is wasted on the young, to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw.
But does it need to be that way…in today’s age?
I think that most of us who survived our youth have said something like, “If I only knew then what I know now.”
Ah, there’s nothing quite so compelling as 20/20 hindsight.
Perhaps, just perhaps, today’s youth can have a better opportunity to enjoy their youth, if we let them.
In 1910, about 100 years ago, average life expectancy was 49.2 years.
If you were born in 2009, your average life expectancy is 78.7 years.
So, in a century we’ve added about 30 more revolutions around the sun to the average person.
It wasn’t that long ago that it made sense to be married and have a child by age 16, but those days are fortunately behind us.
We are living longer. We should thoughtfully consider letting our kids grow-up longer.
I think that with the exponential advances in technology, we will soon be able to add another 30 years of life expectancy to newborns. Could well be more. Seriously.
But the exponential rate of technology is not without its cost. There is a lot more to learn now than there used to be.
Yet, it seems that we are trying to push all the new knowledge into the same time frame that older adults were subjected to when they were kids.
That doesn’t make sense to me.
I see parents today vying to get their kids into the best pre-pre-school. I know that they mean well, but it reminds me of the horrible images I have seen of children’s beauty pageants.
Frankly Francis suggests that we should let kids be kids a little longer than we used to.
With longer life expectancies and more to learn today, let them take the time to absorb it.
And give them the time to enjoy the process. We have it to give. We will all be the better for it.