There are many worthy ways to spend your time and energy. Our society is in desperate need of people who will care about people and things other than themselves. There are many ways that adults can help leave a positive legacy for the generations behind them. One of the best ways that we as adults can care for the world we live in is to invest in the young people all around us.
Some of you are probably thinking that you are parents and that isn’t that enough of a contribution to make to the next generation? Being a parent is one of the most obvious and perhaps best ways to invest in children, but it is not the only way. All adults, parents or not, have the ability and the responsibility to make life better for children and young people. I believe we have this incredible job to do, that we have the task of spending our lives on things that make life better for others.
Taking time to invest in others requires just that: time. You cannot get very far in any relationship without putting time into it. If you are parent, take the time to parent well. Take time to get into the lives and hearts and minds of your kids. Learn about the things they care about, listen to the things they are scared of or excited about. Take your kids to their favorite park or read a great book with them before bed each night. Time is one of the best ways you can invest into children. If you are not a parent, find ways to interact with children. Offer to take the kids of your friends or neighbors for an evening. Take time to play games, go for walks, eat dessert or read books with kids. Invest yourself into the future of our country.
Learning to invest in young people requires that you offer yourself. By offering yourself I mean you allow children to learn from your life. Share stories from your past, lessons you’ve learned, and things you’ve failed at. Young people love to learn how adults have done life. Invest into them by being open and honest about the way you’ve lived, the decisions you’ve made and the things you would do differently if you could start again. You might be amazed at how much kids respond to adults that are offering themselves.
Few things are as valuable as taking time and energy to invest into children and young people. Think about ways that you could share what you’ve learned about life with others.