This article was originally published in the January 2016 edition of 605 Magazine.
Even just writing that number “2016” feels like I’m writing about the distant, crazy future. You know, the real future: Cars flying overhead, people teleporting everywhere, a full head of hair dry in 10 seconds flat by the quick press of a button. That future. That’s what I think of when I write 2016. Yet, here we are in the “future” 2016 and I’m still drying my hair with a *sigh* archaic blowdryer, pumping gasoline into my land dwelling car, and the closest thing to teleporting is, what, a Segway?
Oh, Back to the Future (1, 2, and 3), how you ruined us! (And, delighted us.)
I say that all tongue-in-cheek, because as we all know, the future of our reality is indeed now and it is pret-ty amazing. Modern medicine is astounding, technology changes by the second, space exploration is having another major moment, global social connection is here, and finally, I mean FINALLY, someone created a real Dick Tracy watch.
The future, today, where we stand, is definitely looking up.
But, then, there’s the other side of the coin. All you have to do is watch the news just for two minutes and you will see that something about the future is also definitely looking down. Way down. Terrorism, sex trafficking, wars, rumors of wars, ISIS, nuclear spills, poverty, riots, millions of people without a home or a country…I need not go on. And then, add the children factor, and then there’s a trillion different other things that lurk in this future for parents to think about: School shootings, the vaccination debate, child trafficking, chemicals in food, chemicals in toys, puberty, bullying, depression, suicide, childhood diseases. Wow. Too many things to name, right? So much so that I kind of just want to sit in a corner and stare. And live in denial.
The future, which always seems to be portrayed as a shiny new version of today, seems to be a little scarier than perhaps we thought. Perhaps, today in this future, we have more to fear. And, definitely more to fear for our children.
Or, do we? Do we really have more to fear?
I’ve been wondering about this a lot lately. As the world seemingly spins into more chaos with each passing day, are our kids worse off than we were? Will they have it better - with all the advances of this future - or worse - with all the problems of this future - than other generations? How do we get them ready for whatever future awaits them?
Obviously, there are no easy answers here. One thing I have been learning, however, from those wiser than me is this: Every day has had its own trouble, and every day will have its own trouble. And fearing that trouble does not add one more minute to life. In fact, fear and anxiety actually take away life and time. And to prepare them? Well, we pray. We do our very best for our innocent children. We live out what we teach. We drive out fear with supernatural love. We wait, patiently, for someone to invent a flying car and an instantaneous hair dryer. We turn off the news when it feels overwhelming. And we try to raise kids that do the same - kids that fling the doors open to the future without fear and gladly say…