Have you ever come across a confused, anxious or insecure kid? How about one that is carefree, confident, & clear? What stands out & why do some fall into the first group & some into the second?
As a parent of two girls, I couldn’t help but find myself asking these questions as I sat on the sidelines of sporting events, parent/teacher conferences or the dinner table contemplating what I had observed or overheard among a group of children interacting with each other.
The difference…. RPG (resilience, perseverance & grit)! Like every other human trait, some of our youth are born with a natural predisposition, some encounter environmental advantages & some have the fortune of benefiting from a support system to nurture the qualities over time, but what else would be possible if the playing field was level for all?
While every generation has experienced their own set of cultural challenges (civil rights, drug trade, internet, terrorism, great recession, etc.), never before has there been a series of complicated issues converging at the same time. Gen Z (individuals born after 1997), face a “crisis of readiness” as society keeps moving quicker & expectations continue to rise. Youth today find themselves inside a perfect storm of over-stimulation, future uncertainty & deteriorating trust that has reached a saturation point, thus forcing many to either retreat into isolation or stumble along in confusion amid this dangerous, new norm.
All this begs the question…. How can we make a complex world, simple again?