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Young People, Shine Not Whine
2/27/2013 2:48:25 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch


   I was listening via the internet to a powerful sermon Sunday by a noted Black minister out of Chicago.  He brought some real life issues to my remembrance. I thought I would share some with you and a few of my own.  In light of the high percentage of black murders in Chicago, the minister's message was one of apology to the youth for leaving them in such a mess. We just gave this generation too much.  Since it is Black History Month, the minister was reaching out to the Black youths of his city.  His message was everything they are experiencing is temporal. In other words, no matter what we do or gain, it is all temporary. He spoke about the music, the dress, even how our once beautiful appearance changes as we grow old. Men with six pack abs will one day see their six packs turn into flab. Ladies, your boobs that are northward bound will one day go south. It was a powerful message to the youths of this generation. 

   Here are some of my thoughts for this present generation and even the baby boomers to ponder.  For those of you who do not know who the baby boomers are, they are persons born between 1946 and 1964 or there about. Young people you are not invincible. Your life has a purpose and that purpose is not to eradicate each other from the face of the earth. Your life is temporary and you need to work hard at being the best that you can be. Don't worry about what the other person has or even how far they went in school. More does not always mean better.  Everyone with a degree is not successful.  Everyone is not going to strike it rich and live the life of Riley. Everyone is not going to graduate from Harvard or Yale with a doctorate degree. Everyone is not going to drive a Mercedes Benz or Cadillac Escalade. Everyone is not going to own their own business or their own home. Everyone is not going to be a Hallie Berry, Jennifer Lopez or Michael Jackson.

   When I look back at all of the sacrifices and gains our forefathers made, I am troubled by how the present generation is throwing it all away. They just sit around whining about what they can't do, instead of trying.  It's your time, young people to shine, not whine. You were gifted with the hard work, tears and even inhumane deaths of the generations before you trying to leave something behind for you and what do you do, throw your opportunities away.

   Somehow this generation just doesn't get it! Let's see if I can drive this message home. The difference between the Baby Boomers and now is:

   The only thing Baby Boomers pierced was their ears. This generation pierces their ears, nose,  tongue (ENT) eye brow, naval and other sundry parts.

  When Baby Boomers went clubbing and someone stepped on their toes on a crowded dance floor, they may have gotten into a push and shove match but rarely did they go outside to their car to retrieve a weapon and shoot up the club and kill the offender. This generation gets even; they kill.

   Baby Boomers went to Sunday School, Church, B.T.U and evening service. This generation might may it to church once or twice a month if momma gets them up on time.    

   Baby Boomers went to P.T.A., Advisory Council meetings and school functions. This generation makes excuses why they can't get to their child's school or even attend after school functions that take place after working hours.

   Baby Boomers did not cover their bodies with tattoos. This generation feels that tattoos are a status symbol.  It's the "in" thing.  Don't forget, tattoos are temporary and will soon wrinkle and go south.

   Baby Boomers spanked their children and most of them turned out okay. This generation puts their children in time out, if they do anything at all, and they have not feared off as good. The jails are overcrowd and they are killing off each other in record numbers.

  Baby Boomers had strong work ethics; seldom did they miss days from work. This generation jumps from job to job and it is all about "entitlement" or "gimme, gimme".

   Baby Boomers walked just about everywhere or caught the bus. This generation gets a car at the ripe old age of 15.

   Baby Boomers dare not talk back to their parents or elders. This generation not only talks back, they yell back.

   Baby Boomers had curfews. This generation comes and goes as they please.

   Baby Boomers walked the floor all night if their child was sick. This generation passes the responsibility along to the grandparents.

   Baby Boomers listened to the Temptations, Four Tops, The Supremes and Marvin Gaye.  This generation idolizes Michael Jackson, Babyface, Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent. Young people, not all rap songs carry a positive message. Be selective of our music and stop filling up your head with garbage!

   Young people, stop whining and start shining! It is time for you to carry the torch. You must believe in yourself if you expect others to believe in you.  Where do you think President Obama would be today if he didn't believe in himself?  Get involved! Visit your child's school and get involved in the PTA and school activities. Show your child you care.  Eat healthy and teach your child how to eat healthy.  Stop making babies that you can't take care of.  Develop a strong sense of pride in whatever you do and instill the same pride in your children.  

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