Have you heard this one?
I don’t know what’s wrong with these kids today!
Who can understand anything they say?
They are disobedient, disrespectful oafs!
Noisy, crazy, sloppy, lazy, loafers!
While we’re on the subject:
You can talk and talk till your face is blue!
But they still just do what they want to do!
Why can’t they be like we were,
Perfect in every way?
What’s the matter with kids today?
I’m not sure how it was back then in the 1960’s, Bye Bye Birdie-era, but now, in 2016, I will tell you what’s the matter with kids:
They are awesome.
Which is convenient. Because at Draper Lifestyle magazine, we are all about awesome.
In this issue we celebrate this awesomeness with the inclusion of Kids Who Rock. Several of these kids hail from local music school Rock U—and really rock it on the guitar—while several others rock different things: school, tests, tennis, kendama, climbing walls. Whether literal or figurative, they are all rock stars.
And I am impressed.
I found myself thinking about these kids long after the questionnaires and profiles were turned in. Certain details just stuck: the photograph of a little blond rocker with hair in ringlets, whose guitar seems as big as she is; a high school sophomore who already has her sights set on becoming a speech-writer; a champion pole-vaulter and golfer, both of whom just wanted to try something new. These are kids with drive and purpose and goals, kids who are out doing things, and progressing on their own paths to being better. They are kids who are good.
So it was of the most poignant sort of irony that while in the midst of this, I found myself in a group of grown-ups bemoaning the state of the world. My takeaway from the discussion was that the world and where it’s headed is something that should be feared, and the worry came from things unknown, things we have no control over, things that felt out of our hands.
But I feel comfortable letting go; I will happily relinquish my hold. Because I see the kids in these pages—and kids everywhere—and I see the goodness and abundance of their lives, the willingness to work and do, and these simple things give me hope.
So while the issue of “what’s the matter with kids these days” and what the future holds can seem problematic, I’m not certain that’s the case. The way I see it, the only real problem here is space constraints, and that in running a kids issue we can’t include more kids.
I wish we had a zillion pages.
Brooke Benton, Editor