Connectedness and Compassion

Last week I took my annual sojourn to Kanuga to be a part of Youth Week. Every year I find this time with the young people to be truly energizing. Even more importantly for me, it helps me learn about the lives our young people are leading.

One thing I find when I spend time with young people in Kanuga or in ECMN, is that they are, well, kids. They love to have fun, they are generally very social and they are incredibly connected to each other and to the world.

This connectedness has its challenges. They know the moment their friends are doing something they wish they had not – and they know the moment when a terrorist attack occurs on the other side of the globe.

More information – more to process.

The gift of this connectedness, I believe, is that young people are aware of the world around them, both near and far. They are incredibly caring and compassionate. They know the challenges of the world, and they want to make a difference. In the conversations I’ve had with young people, I’ve heard them say that they believe they have the gifts and the passion to make their lives and their world a better place.

Another thing that I find as I spend more time with young people is their incredible faith. While it is often articulated, and sometimes even lived out differently than mine, they know the love of God and deeply desire to share that love with others.

A strong sense of one’s gifts, passion to share those gifts with others, knowledge of the love of God and a desire to share that with others in a way that is caring and compassionate, and a desire to make the world a better place – these are the ways the young people that I meet continue to truly inspire me.

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