Like Speeding in a Parking Lot

I’m going to let you in on something I really hate; it really bothers me when people speed in parking lots. Seriously, you’re going 40 to get to a stop sign, a speed bump, people with shopping carts, and an elderly person walking down the aisle, where are you going? Nowhere fast! It’s sort of like the way many young people are living today, speeding in a labyrinth of hurdles, twists, turns, stops and starts, without the patience and sense God gave them to navigate it safely.

On a daily basis I’m surrounded by dozens, at times, hundreds of teenagers and most of them wear the same wearied look I see on people twice their age, because they have taking on the responsibilities (at least the actions) of an adult. They drink, they smoke, they work two jobs, some care for babies, some for their parents, many for themselves and nearly all of them lack a concept of the world around them. It’s pretty depressing because in them you see the future, or lack thereof.

For the most part, you can’t tell them any different, show them any better, even though they’re searching for a context clue to assist in figuring life out. They’ve been disappointed by nearly everyone that was supposed to love, nurture, guide, protect and teach them, that another adult is just another lie or another hurt waiting to happen. The attitude on their faces tells you the story:

My father is not around and my mom doesn’t want to be. My grandmother’s doing the best she can, but she doesn’t understand the world we live in; these teachers don’t think I can learn, so they don’t teach to me, so I’m out here trying to get by the best I can until these streets kill me.

It’s a sad story replayed on every Martin Luther and in those chocolate suburbs you’ve fled to in hopes of giving your children a better life, but not arming them with the tools to carve one out. The village has disbanded and those children are raising themselves in a world so obsessed with beauty and ugliness that they seek beauty in eyesores because it brings smiles to faces hardened by years of resentment and abandonment. They can’t tell you what the gross national product is, but they know where to get for the low or what the newest Ciroc flavor tastes like.

They’re highly sexually active, but read below grade level and even the scholars of the lot are merely nice cars in the junk yard, they stand out amongst the discarded but don’t compare to those shiny models in showrooms where tax dollars actually affect change. So, we criticize from our perches, demonize the child we left behind and live with the fear of the future to come. I’m not sure if you’re watching, but our future is here and they’re drunk, high, ignorant and angry. Angry at you, angry at me and angry at everyone who left tacks and splinters on their crystal stair.

Back to that parking lot we’re all in, they’re texting and posting pictures garnished with weed and small bottles of liquor as they speed through; there’s a collision waiting to happen and it won’t be at an intersection with four-way stop signs, it’s going to be in a crosswalk, because they don’t recognize the signs of slowing down…

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