Monday, March 13, 2006

And this is why I love teenagers

I believe it was last month that Pat Kirby wrote about an encounter with some teenagers. When I commented to her post I said that I love teenagers and since then I was looking for ways to qualify that statement. (No one ever questions when people say they love kids, but say you love teenagers and eyebrows are raised.)

I love teenagers because they struggle. Teenagers have a wonderful naive, innocent qualities at the same time as those of first-grade thinkers (philosophically, politically, socially).

When teenagers think it's first (for them) and deep. Teenagers ask why we're here, they ask if God exists, they ask if capitalism/socialism is the best/only way, they ask if a starving thief has a higher moral ground. They ask all these questions seriously and discuss them seriously and it's in these discussions that our future is being molded and formed. The future of our society.

Why did I think of all that again?
Remember I posted about our various garbage boxes and bins we have in TO?

Well, Friday was garbage day. On garbage day all the residents put their garbage on the sidewalk, the garbage truck goes by and the workers pick up the boxes, empty them and then toss them back in complete disarray. Most times the worse is just walking over to the neighbor's yard to pick up your box and give him his, but Friday was also very windy, meaning all the empty boxes were dragged or pushed by the wind in different directions, making it impossible for cars to drive by or for pedestrians to walk a straight path.

I was late on Friday and just before nine I heard noises outside. I assumed it was the wind pushing the boxes. I was in the kitchen so I looked out the window. Here's what I saw:

A kid, a teenager, tenth grade or so, pretty cool and good looking, definitely not nerdy, was dragging back boxes that were on the road, clearing a path for the cars. At first I though he lives across the street and picking up his own boxes, but as he continued throughout our block taking the boxes and putting them back on the sidewalk and to the side, clearing also a path for the pedestrians I realized he was just being... good.

I followed him with my eyes as far as I could see and he just kept doing that - on his way to school, backpack on his shoulder, clearing a path for both cars and pedestrians by putting the boxes to the side.

I hated being a teenager. My struggles - within me, with school, society, any structured environment, my parents - were great. Perhaps we feel the struggle teenagers have, perhaps we feel how insecure teenagers are in this new world they're about to take on, perhaps we feel how much they don't like themselves.

But I love teenagers, and I believe I just told you why.
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2 comments:

Benjamin Solah said...

In some way, I'll be at the end of this journey next Monday when I turn 20, but I think it will continue, with my parents at least.

I wouldn't say most teenagers have been what I've been through. I had to stand up for myself and stop my mother treating me like a baby, get the guts to come out as an athiest, defend myself with my political activity, justify my writing, and get my life in some semi-'normal' state, without turning into a useless cog in the system.

Melly said...

Benjamin, believe it or not, but things get easier, or rather, we learn to accept more and go with the flow. It's just so hard to "fight" all the time that it's easier to bend, and that's what happens to most - unfortunately or fortunately - it depends on the point of view...