|A society is playing with fire when it neglects the needs and desires of its young people; not only are natural talents wasted, but a sense of desperation grows in the shadows. Young men in particular can feel driven to desperate acts if they do not feel welcome in society and valued for who they are in their essence.
Most people have heard the old African proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child.”
Peace and Blessings,
Fewer know that the second part of the proverbial statement suggests that if young people are not fully invited into life they will burn the village down. A society is playing with fire if it denies the dreams of its youth in favor of a status quo that favors some and excludes others.
“What happens to a dream deferred?” asked the poet Langston Hughes over sixty years ago in a poem simply entitled: “Harlem.” More than a half century later the dream is still deferred, the site is Baltimore and the prophetic voice of the poet still asks what happens when another generation of dreams becomes deferred, “does it sag like a heavy load” or “does it explode?” These are extreme times during which the growing disparity in terms of wealth and opportunity adds fuel to the fires of despair every day.
Laws and rules may tell us how
to live; but a person must have a why
to live. In the soul of America, the why
to live has best been imagined as a dream
. Not the simple “American dream” of blind materialism; but the wild complexity of dreams trying to live through the great diversity of souls that makes up the America that has not been yet.
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