The current generation of youth gets a lot of flack in the media for being self-absorbed and feeling overly entitled.
While that might be true, I also see that same generation as more focused on making the world a better place than previous generations. I think the altruistic focus that seems to be prevalent in that age group bodes well for the future.
Here are some statistics from a report titled "Volunteering in America: 2007 State Trends and Ranking in Civic Life" that back that up...
Volunteerism is up sharply among young Americans, according to a report released last month by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Among youths age 16 to 19, volunteer rates have almost doubled since 1989.
The article goes on to describe the trend I've seen in today's youth.
...the increase in the number of young people volunteering through their schools, churches and other community organizations is especially encouraging. Like the generation of young people who helped launched the Peace Corps in the 1960s, many in today's younger generation appear committed to building a better world through service to others.
They're doing it by mentoring younger children and helping older people live independently. They're raising money for those in need and lending a hand in times of crisis. And they're setting a wonderful example for the rest of us.
So here's a thought. What if we started focusing on the potential of this generation to make that positive impact? What if we stopped griping about how they're not like us, and started focusing on how we can support the positive energy they bring to the picture?
There's no doubt this world is in need of some serious change for the better. And if we play our cards right, today's youth will be leading the charge.