What’s there to learn in a pandemic, if you’re young, willing and able?

By Atticus Andrew

Better asked:  What's there not to learn?

Especially if you're young and  still of the age when, come late August you'd normally expect to be back in a school classroom.

But nothing is "normal" is it?  So, what's  any male or female of school-age to do?

Take advantage!  I say.  For you'll never have another opportunity like the one you presently have:   to study what you want, when you want, and for as long as you want; and, to top it all off...without hands-on adult formal interference or pressure.

I believe most  members of Generation X understand the uniqueness  of their age during Covid-19.  I also believe what I've been told, that their parents and grandparents are fretting awfully about how disastrous Covid-19 has made it for students, left as they are without proper guidance and virtually no facilities to use safely.

So sad?  Well, yes.  The United States has never before seen its children and youth so threatened.

But that's the surrender outlook.  Here's the winning one:  Relieved of the weighty conformity pressure that inevitably accompanies  formal education, every public and private school student currently alive  is now free to explore in depth their own selves and, upon further reflection, free to consider the multitude of glorious experiences that may yet come their way.

Where should our youth begin their journey to tomorrow?

I know, I know, I'm too old, to really know.  But I still have my imagination and an awesome capacity to engage in reality-based wishful thinking.

Indeed, were I a youth, I'd begin with me, with some honest self-reflection, and thereby identify my strengths and weaknesses, all of which should stimulate my attention to making the called-for adjustments and  improvements.

Also, the pandemic offers to young people a grand opportunity to  be totally selfish, even as they are showing evidence of a collective desire to pursue justice and equality for all races and people, which, to me, is an unbeatable circumstance.

If I'm a  youth today and in possession of "literary" skills, I'd nurture them as much as possible by reading or rereading  every noteworthy book I could find.

On the other hand, if math and science are my cup of tea, I'd pick up last year's math book, review its content thoroughly and intentionally inquire about where to next?  Then go there.  I'd also explore practical applications of said talents and interests for teaching, engineering,  and positions in the medical and research fields.

I'd ask whether I have mechanical skills.  Do I really like to work with my hands?  If, yes, I'd search out, for example, a garage or a salon and volunteer to help, hoping to get some first-hand insight into the trade.  And if my folks are pretty well off, I'd find me a good preowned car  to repair and fix it up, or  get informed about the best schools for hair stylists.

I love sports and would make sure I'd be keeping my mind and body in tune with one another.   This could require the scheduling of regular personal workouts, while also adding to my reading list "sports" books that interest me.  Better yet, surely there is a sibling or relative with whom  I can mange some "home style" competition.

After all of the above, should I still be overwhelmed by bewilderment, I'd search out some wise adults, grandparents and retirees who have learned  practical lessons about how to live well. On second thought, I'd do this from this moment forward.  And I'd listen.

Let's ask about life after school.  About dreams?  Hopes?  Families?  Service to church and community?  Again, there's never been a time in history in which  the opportunities have been so endless.  Let those aspirations build and dwell richly within you.

Lastly, here's what I wish to ask every  school age boy or girl in America:  Please  think about your being alive 20 to 30 years from now, having learned well the life-serving lessons of the 2020 pandemic.

The youth of the 1930s learned from the Great Depression.  Will you, from the pandemic of 2020?

If you do, sit tight.  The Greatest Ride in history is coming your way

Live it up!







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