Thursday, May 8, 2014

Young People are Made for the True Richness of Life

May blossoms in the morning.
Last night I had a really beautiful discussion with John Paul and Agnese about the value of learning, of being educated as human persons, of experiencing the meaning of things in the context of truth, goodness, and beauty.

They are already beginning to see these things in high school. (Chelsea Academy has been such a blessing.) But they certainly are old enough. They're opening up like blossoms in the morning of their lives, in the time when their adult personalities are taking shape. Certainly they're having lots of fun, but it's within the context of discovering the true richness of life.

These years from 15 or 16 years old on through college are so rich in the potential for growth, for laying the foundations of one's attitude for the whole of life. What a waste it is to throw these years away in superficial satisfactions. Young people are "wild" because the great upsurge of freedom within them tries to connect anything that is given to it with infinity.

And this society tries to enslave that wildness to individual and reciprocal indulgence; to behaviors, styles, and products that promise falsely to satisfy, but only lead to banality and then a new round of false promises. This society distorts the youthful thirst for life, and deflects it into a pattern of perpetual consumption and dissatisfaction. The result is that people grow bitter with age, but they never grow up.

Nevertheless, people keep buying stuff. There is a lot of money to be made off of perpetually misdirected and frustrated hopes. But it is an outrage to turn the sacred space of the human heart into a den of thieves!

Instead, why not cultivate an environment of true freedom for young people, for our kids? Why not point them in the direction of the more profound truth -- the ultimate truth -- that their mind's eye has begun to seek? These free spirits who continue to grow and surmount boundaries: they are drawn by the Infinite, the inexhaustible Mystery who makes them.

Can we not accompany them and guide them toward the decisive encounter of their lives? In so doing, we will rediscover our own youth.