In my teaching and pastoral ministry to Emerging Adults (that’s the name for the 18-25 year-old crowd), and especially the males, I have been frustrated by the absence of drive, vision and dreams. I’ve looked many a young man in the eye to find that there was simply no object or cause that had captivated their heart and mind. The consequence is predictable: they are caught in the “in-between” and drift. They hang out, work entry-level jobs and struggle to be consistent in college or university. They take classes one semester and decide in the next that they will take the semester off or perhaps not go back. They haven’t been captivated enough by any one thing, so they drift.
Recently I was reading C. S. Lewis’ The Abolition of Man and came across a passage that is as relevant today as it was when he wrote it some 5 decades ago. In discussing the author’s of the “Green Book”, Lewis states:
They see the world around them swayed by the emotional propaganda of the moment. They have learned form tradition that youth is sentimental; and they conclude that the best thing they can do is to fortify the mind’s of young people against emotion. My own experience as a teacher tells an opposite tale. For every one pupil who needs to be guarded from a weak excess excess of sensibility, there are three who need to be awakened from the slumber of cold vulgarity.
The task of the modern educator is not to cut down jungles, but to irrigate deserts.