Thursday, June 30, 2016

Believe It or Not, America, You're in Good Hands...No Matter What the Doomsdayers Say

If you believe American young people are not as smart, as intelligent, as previous generations, it's time to reconsider. Our nation has more talented kids than you might suspect...

By Richard Kent Matthews

I had the privilege of presenting a leadership and self mastery class to a group of students recently at a local middle school here in Portland, Oregon.

It's been a while since I have presented to middle and high school kids so I was impressed by how sharp and dedicated to learning, growing, and reaching for the stars they are. All of them without exception maintain high grade point averages, and already have set goals and created vision boards to help plan their futures. From law to medicine to computer science, they know what they want to do. In fact, one of the computer geeks, as he calls himself, has set his sights on Google.

I wanted to make certain the kids all interacted with each other during the class rather than being forced to just listen to me lecturing them. We played this game: Each person will tell the
group two short truths about themselves, and one short lie. The other kids then have to guess which is the lie. The aim? To show the kids how to use their intuition a bit better. We had a lot of fun with the game. Lots of laughter and a bonding within the group that would not have occurred without the powerful interaction.

The kids range in age from 13-17. They have well-developed senses of humor, can dance, understand the hip hop generation, and like Adele, David Guetta, and Meghan Trainor. They also like smooth jazz, rock, and electronica.

As if that isn't enough, they are all snow boarders and manage to get to our beautiful Cascade Mountain slopes each year, with mentors, for fun, personal discipline, and a sense of accomplishment.

One more important bit of information: These kids are all from 'underprivileged' backgrounds, racial and religious diversity, and both boys and girls. They have heard so much about how difficult it is to be successful in America anymore. And yet, they have not given up on the American Dream. 

The cable news pundits may be screaming that the Dream is dead. These kids don't believe it for a second.

If they are any indication, you can rest assured America is in good hands. 

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