I am a product of a fractured generational culture.  I have given up.
With the permission of the youth pastor, I went to youth services for several months;  engaged some senior ladies to bring cookies. I wanted to join the youth in prayer times, but they were encouraged to pray for each other; they did that.  I was defeated.  I endured somewhat patiently the loud music; I was met with a tee shirt that said, “If our music is too loud, you are too old.”  I was offended.
When the suggestion was made that senior church members, such as veterans, or those who had amazing testimonies of healing or provision, give their stories to the youth groups, it was denied.   Anything we could do was replaced by videos.
I read one time that the older generation could cultivate a relationship with the younger people by asking about their tattoos.  So I tried.  Family reunion of sorts, I seated myself in a room occupied by twenty somethings.  There were tattoos, so I boldly said,  “I read that I could make acquaintance with younger people by asking about their tattoos.  So tell me about yours.”  Reply: “If you’re not drunk, you wouldn’t understand.”  I’m the persistent sort so I said, “Then ask me a question, and I’ll see where we can go with that.”  Response:  “Where were you born?”  Now that might have been a conversation starter if I had been born in Cuba or Peru, but “Colorado” was not very engrossing.  But with my engaging personality (smiles are welcomed right here :D)  I developed that answer into a seven minute speech I had recently given to Toastmaster’s Int. and Lo, I was listened to.  Never saw that group again, but they probably remember me.  Most people at family reunions do.  😀  But young people are scarce at family reunions.
A venture outside the church setting: I wrote a prayer request, typed it in card size and went to the mall and passed it out to teens.  On it I told of a run-away teen whose family was hurting. I would say something like this: “Would you read this story, and, if you are a Christian, pray about it. If you are not, maybe it will help you see how much your family probably loves you. Take time to give some love back to them.” I met some sweet kids.  One group of four kids looked pretty weird to me. I decided to speak to them anyway. They were polite to me. A few told me they were Christians and they would pray for me. As I said, Precious Kids – who really needed adults to care.  That was proof that kids cared and wanted involvement.  But I didn’t keep it up.  Weather got colder; it got dark too early; the parking lot was scary.  I quit.
I asked five teen girls from my church to meet me after church at Braum’s so I could buy them a sandwich. I had no takers, so I gave up, deciding they probably thought I was weird. And I guess I am.
When I told Sammy, he said, “Well, you’re a stranger, aren’t you?” I said, “That’s my point exactly.” I don’t want to be, but I am — a product of a fractured-generation culture.  
Image: Pixabay

About oneta hayes

ABOUT ME Hello. To various folks I am Neat’nee, Mom, Grandma Neta, Gramma, Aunt Neta, Aunt Noni, Aunt Neno, and Aunt Neto (lots of varieties from little nieces and nephews). To some I’m more like “Didn’t you used to be my teacher?” or “Don’t I know you from someplace?” To you, perhaps, I am a Fellow Blogger. Not “fellow” like a male or a guy, but “fellow” like a companion or an adventurer. I would choose to be Grandma Blogger, and have you pull up a chair, my website before you, while I tell you of some days of yore. I have experienced life much differently than most of you. It was and is a good life. I hope to share nuggets of appreciation for those who have gone before me and those who come after me. By necessity you are among those who come after me and I will tell you of those who came before. Once upon a time in a little house on a prairie - oops, change that lest I commit plagiarism - and change that “house on the prairie” to “dugout on the prairie.” So my story begins...
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  1. Beautiful, Oneta. You’ve captured so much truth here.

  2. says:

    I’ve had some similar situations, but have usually found most teens I talk to are respectful and they do listen if we listen to them. It takes time to build those relationships because kids have a hard time trusting anyone older than they are. The fracture comes from all the things going on in our world today. When we were kids we didn’t worry about mass shootings or deranged classmates. We didn’t pay much attention to what was going on in the world, but too much information is filling their minds. Not wonder they’re frightened and unwilling to trust.

    • oneta hayes says:

      True words. I re-read a previous blog of mine in which I tell about the first time I heard of a murder. My mother and her friend were quite hush-hush about it. Saving such news from my tender ears. I know I was about 8-10 because I remember the house we lived in at that time. Our children have grown up with such murder and violence all around. Wish I could remember my link. Maybe it will come to me again.

  3. You took some bold step as described. No regrets, I hope.

  4. pranabaxom says:

    Do you really think in your heart that Jesus would have given up? Where is your faith now? You have a great heart to do good. Don’t be discouraged.
    This is coming from a father whose kids always tells him to stop the lecture. One day I will give up when it is time to go.
    Unfortunately the bearded old guy has refused to let me know that time.

  5. I just read this to Gregory—he says you need to publish this…but the thing is…I doubt many of the readers will be the target generation.
    Today Kathy and I were chatting about my post and her posts on the recent madness…she told me that she really hated to have to “rant” about all of the craziness of everyone yelling for the Government to “save” us from ourselves.
    I told her that we are actually called to “rant” or engage…being that voice in the wilderness—because if we don’t, the rocks will cry out instead.
    She said maybe we need to pray that it’s the rock’s turn…
    It is so frustrating!
    That’s why if I was still in the classroom, I would most likely be fired because I would not remain silent in the face of a culture devouring our kids….

    • pranabaxom says:

      I wrote this poem just now based on your response to Oneta. I want to publish it on my blog. Hope I have your permission. If not, please let me know and I shall take it down

      The rocks will cry out

      If we do not rant
      If we do not shout
      When it matters
      When we need to stand up
      The rocks will cry out

      The rocks will cry out
      If we wait, and wait, till
      Hell freezes over
      And hell fire ravages
      Our bleeding hearts

      Our bleeding hearts
      Ache and pain
      From our inaction
      While the world burns
      In wilderness we mourn

      In wilderness we mourn
      Mouthing over and over
      Never again, never again
      While somewhere around the corner
      Another plot is being hatched

      Another plot is being hatched
      To snuff out innocent lives
      While we play games with words
      Conscience sacrificed at alter of greed, we wait
      For the rocks to cry out

    • oneta hayes says:

      Thanks for your addition to my blog. You are bold, knowledgeable, fluent, and loving. No rock will need to cry out in your stead. I understand what you say about teaching now. I did things I certainly could not do now. I have a relative who works as school aide in CA supervising recess times. She said they could not touch a child; they could grab a backpack if necessary to control. True? I don’t think she would lie, but maybe exaggerate. Whatever, it does not sound good. I touch in love; I touch for contro. I could give up the touch for control but not the touch for love. Imagine trying to encourage a second grader to try again without a pat on the back or a ruffle of the hair. I see below that you have had interaction with Pranab. He’s my sparring partner. I’ll vouch for him. I’m hoping to get to meet him in heaven, but so far he doesn’t seem to think we mean the same place. 😀 I do like his poem very much.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Ooops, my answer to you just went below your thread with Pranab. Sorry ’bout that. Go down to see it.

      • oneta hayes says:

        Hey, Julie, I can’t seem to find the right place to comment to you. Now I don’t know where to answer Pranab. Guess you will both have to look. 😀

      • Got it— perfectly correct Oneta— I doubt she exaggerates— I use to haul kids into my office, behind closed doors, every Monday morning in order to read them the riot act of morality when I got wind of what went down over the weekend—- toward the end of my tenure, we were warned never to be alone with kids and never drive them home if they needed a ride— I viewed myself as their teacher but also role model, surrogate mother, confidant and advocate—that is now taboo

        • oneta hayes says:

          We could certainly share some stories, couldn’t we? 😀 One child ran away from me after school one day. I got in my car and headed out, the principal who was on cross walk told me maybe I’d better just pretend I was going after him. I caught up with the child a couple blocks down the street, stopped, opened the car door and told him to get in. I drove him home and mom was on MY side. Those were the days. Now it would be kidnapping, assault, harassing, humiliating, etc, etc. Firing would be way too good for me! 😀

  6. Wow, how sad. Please don’t give up. There were a few teens who responded to you. There may have been more who loved that you cared but didn’t dare show it in front of their friends. If you haven’t already, check out my post from October 12 – “Who’s Prejudiced Now?” People should never rule out anyone as a worthy person to listen to. We can learn so much from one another.
    PS If that was supposed to be a “Christian t-shirt,” the company should rethink their messages. There’s a way to say “My music’s loud, but I love Jesus, too” without insulting someone else. (Maybe they could make a t-shirt that says “My music’s loud, but I love Jesus, too. 😉 ) How about “There’s more than one way to praise the Lord,” or something inclusive, maybe with a picture of J.S. Bach and Toby Mac. ❤ .

  7. cricketmuse says:

    What a thoughtful post.

  8. Faye says:

    The culture is the fractured problem in our life. No one any more wants to face up to the fact that SIN is the problem in our world. Its not the govt/s fault,, climate change, or any other thing you might conjur up. SIN SICKNESS. The next generation does not want to face up to it squarely and completely. even many of the elderly have forgotten the days when all schools began with a prayer. Govt jobs and organisations always asked for God’s Blessings on endeavours. Even many churches want to manage prayer like its some sort of shopping list of ‘want’. An infinitely HOLY GOD is searching the Earth in 2019 for His People…..all ages, all cultures, all tribes and persuasions……the blood bought on their knees forgiven. sin sick folks from the past must not be taken over by the society driven next generation who are blind to SIN and their absolute need for a SAVIOUR. Blessings and thank you for expressing what you do on your blog site.

  9. Dawn Marie says:

    I would love if you posted the story of the run-a-way you had printed on the card. Perhaps it is one many of us could share too in a similar fashion!❤️ Your love for others is already prevailing Oneta! You may not be able to see it but I know hearts are being moved by you. Hugs and blessings for the courage you have to share yourself and God with others!!😘

    • oneta hayes says:

      I no longer have that card. I made it while quite new at computer abilities; now I could make a fancier on with pictures, colors, etc. The card was not special. Any person could make one using his/her own story. Any story that would grab the fancy of a teenager. I did wonder whether I might get “rebuked” for passing them out in the mall. But no one said anything about it. I probably passed out maybe 30 cards, so there wasn’t much time to get caught. 😀 This activity needs to be structured to your need and God’s direction. I do feel that it was important to recognize that some might be Christians and others not.

  10. I’m glad you tried so hard to connect! Your efforts probably meant something to at least one of those kids even if they wouldn’t admit it.

    • oneta hayes says:

      Seed sown will produce something, even for one is important. Then all seed does not come up quickly – we trust “in due season” the seed will sprout. 😀

  11. oneta hayes says:

    I no longer have that card. I made it while quite new at computer abilities; now I could make a fancier on with pictures, colors, etc. The card was not special. Any person could make one using his/her own story. Any story that would grab the fancy of a teenager. I did wonder whether I might get “rebuked” for passing them out in the mall. But no one said anything about it. I probably passed out maybe 30 cards, so there wasn’t much time to get caught. 😀 This activity needs to be structured to your need and God’s direction. I do feel that it was important to recognize that some might be Christians and others not.

  12. The youth group in our church hosts a Senior Citizen party every year. This past year I convinced my husband (who is 62) that we were old enough to attend. We had a great time and it seemed the young people love to host this party.

    • oneta hayes says:

      That’s nice. We have had youth helpers for our dinners in the past. But they have never hosted the activities. A swap would be nice. Youth host seniors with their kinds of entertainment; seniors host youth with their kind of entertainment. Fun.

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