September 24, 2020
- The sophistication of these thought processes is one of the few things that points to hope for the future.
- Many experienced humans still have a lot to learn.
So, I have a nephew who enjoys talking politics and social issues, and it’s fun and astounding, because when I was that age I wasn’t interested in those things at all, nor were any of my peers. At his urging, I have switched to reusable metal straws. He has educated me on other environmental issues. When it comes to the pandemic, he understands that precautions need to be taken, and he stands firm in those views even when attacked. Although he does partake in limited in-person interactions with friends, he understands that he needs to space his social visits. He has a two-week turnaround on his quarantine time between seeing friends, or family members who are not members of the household. The fact that we must look out for one another is intuitive to him as is the understanding that taking the highest possible precautions is the right thing to do when you could be putting others at risk. He has other great qualities, and other amazing understandings that are for another day. The sophistication of his thought processes is one of the few things that points to hope for the future. These kids, so many of them (and to be fair, I’m old enough to use the word “kids” in conjunction with twenty-year-olds) are amazing. Their understanding of social issues, their compassion, and their willingness to actually (gasp) inconvenience themselves, by prioritizing long-term goals over short term, not to mention others over self, amaze me, especially in the current context of our country. Knowing the difference between, for example, I want to hang out with my friend while keeping them safe, as opposed to just, I want to hang out with my friend, is a lesson a sad portion of more experienced humans have yet to learn. It is something to be admired. It is a quality to be emulated by all of us. A final note about this paragon of modern-day virtue: he is eleven.