“What Good is an Adult if it Doesn’t Do Anything?”
A new voice has awakened the conscience of our country, and it isn’t that of a street preacher, a celebrity or a high flying politician.
It’s a child.
A teenager to be more accurate.
We have heard their voices before, but perhaps not in this way. The children are calling us out. If I might use a familiar scene as a metaphor: They are tired of standing on the ball field while grown-ups slug it out over a call at home.
There are certainly many unresolved issues relating to the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida. How can we stop it from happening again?
A better approach to mental health?
My goal here is not to find a sly way to lead you to the answer I support, although I think it is safe to say there is some consensus that improving our approach to mental health would help.
Rather, I wish to focus on the kids who called us out, and the quote from the one who said, “We’re children. You guys are the adults.”
I realize this statement is not intended to be absolute. After all, it was a teenager who caused the carnage at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and there were adults there who died protecting students.
Allow me to rephrase this student’s statement so we adults don’t miss the point: “We aren’t in a position to solve this problem. As adults, you are the ones who have the power to make decisions that can help. We’re tired of hearing your arguments for and against. Do something! Don’t you see what we’re up against here?”
I will make one personal statement for all of us “adults”, regardless of our views on this subject. If we think the pain of this tragedy will pass and, if we get lucky, it might not happen again we are living in a fool’s world. It will happen again. More people will be killed. The pain of this moment will become the scars in our future. These kinds of scars, literal and figurative, don’t go away.
“You guys are the adults.”
I can’t get these words out of my head. Might I suggest they speak to more than school shootings?
Kids carry all kinds of wounds. They suffer the fallout from adults in their lives who are addicts, alcoholics, adulterers, abusers and thieves. They experience abandonment, neglect and disillusionment.
Some have even been murdered by the adults they trusted!
I used to read stories of ancient cultures where children were depersonalized and wonder how adults could be so cruel to their offspring (2 Kings 21:6). Now, I understand.
Please spend some time considering what it means to be the adults.
For our children’s sakes.
For all of our sakes.
One thing is for sure. If we can’t do adult things, all of our rationales for our positions on social issues will be rendered irrelevant by the generations behind us.
We will become like broken toys our children no longer care about. After all…
…What good is an adult if it doesn’t do anything?