Monday, March 17, 2014

Challenging myself to notice

When we go to Honduras later this year, I will be challenging myself to notice more. Specifically I want to notice the teenagers, and I want them to see me notice. Sometimes we only look to the little children. Our hearts melt for them in their dire situations, as our hearts should.

But we often give the teens a berth, looking for them to come to us. Forgetting they also didn't ask to be where they are at. That they were the adorable kid who still needs someone.

And that brings me to bold compassion right here. In my home, in my town, in my church. I am challenging myself to engage with teens more often. Not just mine, but yours too, the ones I meet out and about. A simple question or encouragement, a 'well done' for an achievement of character. When I talk to my friends, to take more notice of the teen standing beside them.

My heart breaks for the number of teens I hear about that feel unnoticed, whose self esteem is crushed, or those that feel they are only as good as their grades or trophies. For the dividing electronic screen that is between their faces and our words. For the widening barrier that stands between the teen world and ours.

This is my challenge. I hope you will join me. Talk to a teenager. They might grunt. They might not give up their seat or think to do something that you did naturally when you were 15. But they have things going on we have forgotten all about; new pressures that didn't exist when we were that age - some that we can't always wrap our minds around. Some will give great responses but don't be put off by those who don't. They want and need to be noticed for the right things. So notice.

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