I'm flying from one speaking engagement
to another, I find myself sitting next to someone who's quite talkative. This is often a
pleasant experience for me because I'm an inveterate people-watcher. I've heard stories of
sadness, delight, fear and joy, and some that would rival those of Oprah and Geraldo.
Sad to say, there are times when I'm sitting
someone who just wants to vent his spleen on a captive audience for 600 miles. It was one
of those days. I settled in, resignedly, as my seatmate began his disquisition on the
terrible state of the world with, "You know, kids today are..." He went on and
on, sharing vague notions of the terrible state of teens and young adults, based on
watching the six o'clock news rather selectively.
I gratefully disembarked the plane and bought a local
paper on the way to the hotel. There, on an inside page, was an article that I believe
ought to have been the front-page headline news.
In a little Indiana town, there was a 15-year
-old boy with a brain tumor. He was undergoing radiation and chemotherapy treatments. As a
result of those treatments, he had lost all of his hair. I remember how I would have felt
about that at his age-I would have been mortified! This young man's classmates
spontaneously came to the rescue: all the boys in his grade asked their mothers if they
could shave their heads so that Brian wouldn't be the only bald boy in the high school.
There, on that page, was a photograph of a mother shaving off all of her son's hair, with
the family looking on approvingly. No, I don't despair about kids today.
By Hanoch McCarty, Ed.D. from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul Copyright 1996 by Jack
Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Patty Hansen