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Colorado Teens Pledge to Go All Month Without Internet

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Alliance via Thinkstock

I have to get something off my chest:  Can we please bring the whole Millennial-slamming party to a peaceful end?  You’ve heard it, or worse yet said it.  “They’re entitled.  They’re over sensitive.  They have no work ethic.  They could never live without today’s technology.”  Hey, I’m 41, and I can attest that Gen X and Y people have been far from perfect when it comes to setting examples in all of those categories, and a few others on top of it.  Here’s an idea:  How about we look at ourselves?  And then maybe focus on being an awesome example for people of all ages.

Here’s just one reason I say this:  More than 1300 students from six countries – about 200 schools, including a long list of them in Colorado – are taking part in “Offline October.”  Because of this, teens are looking forward to spending time with friends and family, getting outside, and doing community events.  An average teenager in the U.S. spends nine hours per day consuming media, according to Common Sense Media.  (Adults spend 15.5.)

If you would like to participate or find out more information on Offline October, visit their website at: http://www.offlineoctober.com/

I, having grown up in the 90s, am inspired by today’s younger generation at large, because I was very fortunate to find my way out of some of the last quintessential “sex/drugs/rock & roll” circles that were entirely prevalent in our society beginning during the Vietnam War in the 60s.  When I changed my direction, it made me a black sheep (in new ways,) and everyone around me wondered what my problem was.  Meanwhile, I had put down most of my habits, gone to college, and begun striving to go after my dreams, rather than sitting around complaining about the government and people and waiting for something to fix my life.

One of the biggest things that helped me into a new way of thinking at that time?  Numerous people I was meeting who were a few years younger than me – just young enough not to have been familiar with the life I had come from.

Today, when I visit my girls’ grade school (shout out to Olander,) I see them in “peace circles” and learning the value of being quiet, closing your eyes, and listening to the silence, as a way to approach your day with a fresh mind.  There’s something you and I absolutely need, friend.  I see most of these kids being genuinely kind to each other and to adults.  They discuss everything, even politics – and when they have a difference of opinion, they simply move on.

When I look at most people younger than myself, I see unobstructed minds who see the world’s problems, and are already thinking of practical solutions, rather than leaning on ages-old, traditional, abstract ideology and pretending it’s all we need.  And if I’m wrong?  At least I’ll be wrong having given them a fair chance.

Millennials give me hope.  “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one!”

 

John Lennon
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