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"RIGHT" to the End©
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Pastor Randy Minnick
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Print We Are Not "You Guys" - An Open Letter to Today's Youth
Right to the End© - Jul 08 2016
with Pastor Randy Minnick : minnick@portervillepost.com

RIGHT to the End © with Pastor Randy Young people, I'm not totally sure of all of the dynamics by which you were reared. However, it is obvious that they are not the same as when I was your age. I see you everywhere and watch you as you carry out your life on this earth with a mindless disregard for others but especially your elders.

Am I trying to target you as though there were those of my generation who were not like you? Not at all. But, your generation is quite different in that there is a profound lack of understanding. There are precious few who know that what we do in this life absolutely will come back to either haunt and trouble us or to bless us and exalt us with favor as we live in peace. Some call it "karma" and other's call it "You reap what you sow". In any case, a lack of understanding of such principles leads to a troubled and unstable life as there can be no assimilation into a peaceful society.

Being a social outcast or even social pariah leads to living in a separate world, a "microcosm", if you please. It is a stagnant world that is un-peaceful and it leads to nowhere but down. That pathway goes further into seclusion from our society wherein lies a chance for success and at least a modicum of peace by comparison. In my day, we called such folks "outcasts". They lived in their own world with no regard for those around them.

What is troubling is that your generation appears to be populated by an inordinate percentage of "outcasts". In fact, it appears that the percentages have reversed and "outcasts" are no longer a small minority but rather the norm! Yet, if you will heed the words of one of the "old folks", there is a helping hand.

There is one foundational principle that can help and it is as profound as it is simple. In my youth, we lived with a very real and well understood social protocol called "respect your elders". There was a tacit understanding that old people know more than young people. It didn't take long for young people to grasp the fact that it had been that way for at least five thousand years. There was a reason for such a dynamic: it worked to help young people successfully become old people. It worked flawlessly because it was based on love and the family unit.

Young people learned simple but effective lessons like: "You have two ears and one mouth. So, you should listen twice as much as you speak". In Sunday School, we learned other simple principles like: "Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding" - (Proverbs 17:28) and "Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles" - (Proverbs 21:23). No; not everyone abided by these principles. However, at some point in their lives, most young folks grew to appreciate them.

We had other foundations upon which to build. That would be morality and discipline. Much of that was learned at home where few of my generation didn't know the "golden rule" ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you"). No one really cared that it was a Biblical principle because it made sense and, importantly, it worked.

Many of our time were "Boy Scouts". "Boy Scouts" were principled (e.g. "morally strong and physically fit"), patriotic (e.g. duty to God and country), and disciplined and they learned to be servants who were always "prepared" ("Be Prepared" being their motto). The author recalls no few ads and illustrations in various publications of "Boy Scouts" helping little old ladies to safely cross a street. They were public servants.

Did it work? Oh, yes. From the "Boy Scouts" website we see just how marvelously it did work, indeed: "The Boy Scouts of America teaches young people to be good citizens and trains them to become leaders. These qualities are also found in the U.S. astronaut program. Of the 312 pilots and scientists selected as astronauts since 1959, 180 (58%) were Scouts or have been active in Scouting: 40 Eagle Scouts, 25 Life Scouts, 14 Star Scouts, 26 First Class Scouts, 17 Second Class Scouts, 13 Tenderfoot Scouts, three Explorers, 27 Cub Scouts, 10 Webelos Scouts, and five with unknown ranks. Of the 12 men to physically walk on the moons surface, 11 were involved in Scouting".

Back then, few people didn't understand that old folks had lived a long time and learned much about the ways of life. It was in their heart to help the young folks avoid any hardship that they themselves had suffered. Such advice was understood to be sage, indeed.

Want to know something else? It wasn't optional; respect was mandatory. The penalty was usually fairly severe and, if you happened to doubt and rebelled against that simple courtesy and did transgress, you usually didn't do it a second time. Your foolishness was found far from you in short order.

Such was the case when the author was about 11 years old. In his foolishness, he found the boldness to disrespect a middle-aged neighbor. The young boy's father almost instantly caught wind of it and immediately instituted reparations. The boy was marched to the man's front door and, when he came out, he had to apologize to his face and in painful shame and disgrace (a pain which still stings to this day). That was, in fact, the last time any such disrespect was ever perpetrated against an elder by yours truly.

Today, it is far from uncommon to hear stories of children and grandchildren cursing, striving, and fighting with their mothers, fathers, and grandparents. They call their relatives filthy names and have great contempt for them. Such a lack of respect was almost unheard of in my time.

In that day, simple courtesies were in plentiful supply. Men (young and old) opened doors for the ladies (who were, in fact, ladies). These were our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers who were treated with dignity and who were honored with great esteem being valued highly for their position in society. After all, just exactly where would society be without them, their hard work, their wisdom, their tenderness, their toughness, and their love?

It was a simple courtesy but one that was profound at its face value: women were more than important; they were the vital adhesives that held society together ranging from the marriage, the relatives, the in-laws, and all other kith and kin. They were comforters and "doctors" and were longsuffering and self-sacrificing so that their children would have a better life than theirs. That was a theme that, until know, pervaded our culture. Most understood that children were a precious gift to the world and that that gift could be a wonderful blessing or, without guidance, a curse upon humanity.

Likewise, the elder men were recognized as another part of our country's solid rock foundation. In that day, we could still smell the smoke of World War 2 and the Korean War, and many of our grandfathers served in World War 1. These were the men that literally built this country then defended it with their lives. They slaved in the fields and factories for ten to sixteen hours per day seven days per week (as related by my own grandfather and confirmed through historical research). These were real men who had earned any and all respect that was available. Most of the young people of my generation grew up with that understanding.

Today, many of our men are veterans of the Vietnam War (and many are your grandparents and parents). They did their job and came home wounded in the flesh and wounded in the heart and soul. They paid the price and they have earned all due respect. Many live quiet lives doing their part as pillars of the community still serving their country by helping to keep it socially strong and in peace. Many of their lives were destroyed by that war and they are without such peace. Yet, have they not earned our respect?

Though they are dwindling in number, even our World War 2 and Korean War vets can be easily found. A quick check at a local Wal-Mart will reveal at least a couple of ball caps that proudly show that they are veterans of World War 2. Should our respect for them wane as they age and their bodies become feeble and even infirm?

If you younger people (two and even three generations from mine), will pay attention to the proven principles of our society, you'll find that "the old people" care about our society and care about you. The problem is that you can't help someone who doesn't want help and who doesn't want to learn. No one can be helped who doesn't want to pay the price for being success and finding peace in our land.

Nevertheless, know that we "old folks" desire to help you if we can. We desire to add our wisdom and our education in the "school of hard knocks" to yours so that you can live above most of the struggles of life. The desire is to help so that "self-inflicted" woes can be kept at a minimum. Yet, we'll be there to help anyway....if you let us.

It is understood that no one can force you to be respectful nor does anyone expect you to respect those who have yet to earn it. But, do know this; respect for your elders who have earned it is a powerful thing to us who fully understand the matter. You can garner our favor and you will benefit greatly from our respect for you; this I can promise you. It has been this way in our nation for hundreds of years.

Remember this also; in the path that we walk now, so shall you soon walk (much sooner than you can ever imagine). If you have sown nuggets of respect in the lives of others, so shall that respect be shown to you when you are old and you will find it a heaping treasure without price.

Please don't alienate yourselves from us. We are not offended by your actions, insensitivity, arrogance, selfishness, and your utter lack of concern for others. You are a work in progress and we understand. But, be aware of this: we will simply disconnect ourselves from fools who do not have the common sense to care about anyone but themselves. There is no sympathy for those who refuse to help themselves and who have few thoughts for others. We have no time to deal with those who are not concerned about making our nation a better place and maintaining peace in our land. We will not tolerate "takers" and "slackers" when we have lived our lives working hard as "givers" to our society.

We will teach...if you will learn. We will freely give...if you are also a giver. If you take the time to earn our respect, we will be your best friends and you will never regret it. You will be truly blessed because that's what we like to do and that's who we are.

So, the next time you encounter us, you may want to remember that you are not entitled to be our intimate friend at first contact. We are not "you guys" nor do we expect to be met in smug stoic silence because we are interrupting your fantasy iPad and texting world. We are "sir", and "ma'am", and we'll even go with "you folks".

We also expect a smile of appreciation and a bit of thanks if we are spending our money where you work. We are, after all, helping you keep your job by being there. Should you not be at least a tiny bit thankful?

Your respect will earn our high regard and few things are as priceless as that and we'll be glad to prove that.

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