A long time ago, I cheered for my adorable smiling preschooler as he hit the tee, and finally the ball after his fifth swing. The following year, I asked Nikolas if he'd like to play T-ball again and he replied, "No, baseball is a waste of my life." A few years passed and Nikolas announced he'd like to give the sport another try.
it is my experience, in the hundreds of dialogues I've held with adolescents, that no one is more open and honest and piercing than than they are when it comes to investigating questions such as: Who am I? Who can I become? What do I want to be when I grow up? It behooves the rest of us, at every age and stage, to hold inquiries on such questions with them, so we can be privy to their keen insights.
We cannot seek to prevent the collapse of communities we deem valuable while ignoring the ones that produced these issues. We forget that there are people who are dying who have lived lives that we do not understand and who have people who love them as much as we love those around us and that this lack of connection with those affected prohibits us from developing comprehensive solutions.