In Praise of Teens

In the 2001 remake of Planet of the Apes, there is a surly character named Limbo. He is sort of a slave trader dealing in humans. While making a sale of a human child he issues one of the most memorable lines from the film…

“The young ones make great pets. Just make sure you kill them before they mature. Believe me, the last thing you want is a human teenager running around your house.”

In earlier times, teens were really kids forced into adulthood by life. However, with prosperity came time and “disposable income” (what a ridiculous phrase). With income came stuff and well… you know, here we are. Dude! I am not one of those who is down on the youth and their culture—totally.

Teens drive the social fabric and economic engine of our country. They determine what clothes are in style. They direct the music industry, (I’m not altogether pleased about that.) They have a verbal language of their own. And now they “TEXT” in an augmented English that resembles a sort of code—(imo). [For the uninformed or un-cool “imo” means “in my opinion” – unless you’re talking about the people that are “Imo” and that is a different thing altogether.] As in every decade since any can remember, teens determine what is cool.

Well, for the third time, in a third decade we have a teenager living at our house. He is like most of them. He likes food, likes stuff, likes rock n’ roll, likes the opposite sex, likes clutter, likes video games, and I’m good with all of that. But the thing I like most about having teenagers is where mine, and many that I’ve worked with over the years, are unlike the culture.

Everyone should have teens like we have had. Our kids have been free to choose their friends and they’ve chosen wisely – usually. They’ve been free to disagree with their parents, but have done so within the bounds of respect – usually. They’ve been free to seek and find the Lord, they’ve come to Him on His terms at their own pace and time. They follow Him in faith – usually.

I love teens. I love listening to them talk, watching how they act and interact. I love their sense of justice. Their out of balance drama is the germ of reality TV. The one draw back that I see in teen-hood is when people move to adulthood and bring their teenager mentality with them. There is a time to put away the teen years, but as John said, “Hold on to 16 as long as you can; changes come around real soon—make us women and men.” Even though Caleb is a teen, we’ve decided to keep him – at least for a while.

telemicus out

3 Responses to In Praise of Teens

  1. Eric says:

    You mentioned that teenagers determine what clothes are in style.

    When I was working at JCPenney, I found out that fashions (clothing, furniture, etc.) are firmly determined by the *manufactures* no less than a YEAR before the consumers buy them to “express themselves”. I thought that was kind of funny.

    The teenagers do help determine the fashions, but their input is much less than they think. It’s similar to my dog thinking she is “free” when she gets to go outside…to the fenced-in yard.

  2. D'Ann says:

    I love my teens, too! But I have three RIGHT NOW instead of three in three decades! Makes for a bit of stress sometimes, but mostly for a lot of fun.

  3. Rick says:

    I can’t agree with you more, but alas in 2 short months, Jo and I will have no more teens, just a couple of 20 somethings. We’ll let you know how long we keep them around. Rick

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