A few days ago I was in despair over the future of our culture. It seemed that there was a serious lack of care for the future. I was reading too much negative stuff and feeling really negative about my kids' futures.
Then I started reading Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris. These are the young men behind The Rebelution: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations. This is just the thing I've been looking for. Yes, there is hope for the future. Yes, there are people who care.
The beginning of the book focuses on the problem: "The Myth of Adolescence" laments the low expectations we as a society have for young people and the things they can accomplish. We get a short history lesson on a few people who did "hard things" as teens. Next, comes "A Better Way," subtitled "Reclaiming the teen years as the launching pad of life."
Why do we think the teen years should be full of mindless fun, "harmless" rebellion and not much else? Why don't we use young adulthood as a time of preparation for full adulthood? Why does our culture have such low expectations of young men and women?
The rest of the book outlines the authors' advice for moving forward to doing hard things. There are anecdotes about people who have accomplished much in their short lives, projects that came to fruition after people got motivated and got to work. This is not fluffy stuff but real advice to get things going. Reading some of the stories really made me aware of my own mediocrity. Seriously. There are young teens who have done so many good, hard things.
This book is written by Christians and absolutely has a Christian worldview. In a way, I think that's too bad, because that alone will turn some people off from reading it. But a person does not have to be a Christian to want to do more with his or her life. Of course the concept of God is not limited to Christians but there is a lot of talk about the Gospel, Jesus, and liberal use of scripture. But open-minded nonChristians can get a lot out of this book. (Death cultists excluded.)
I feel so much better now. My older kid is turning 11 tomorrow; he's teetering between childhood and adulthood. I've said for a long time that I would not use the word teenager with my kids. (I am not sure where I got that idea; from one of my regular blog reads, I think.) He's almost a young man. He's ready to start doing some hard things.
Whether you are a teen or not, are you ready to start doing hard things?