Many of you know that Chris and I had an international student live with us for two years. We fell in love with Coco the minute she yelled, “Rules are used to be break!” in response to a perceived illogical uniform policy in high school. Since that day, she and I have had many long talks about so many crazy topics and it has been an honour to build into her life. The thing is…she has built into my life as well. Her vulnerability, humour, naivety, aspirations, convictions, crazy diets, struggles, teachable spirit and most of all, her “Mrs. L., I have a question” moments have deeply touched me. Coco has since finished her second year of university and recently came to visit us. She now calls me “Diane“.
One evening, she and I were sitting around the kitchen island and out of nowhere, she blurted out, “Diane, I want to read your book proposal” …and so she did. That was the beginning of a four hour discussion about my book. I greatly appreciated her honesty as she challenged me to “…infuse more of your passion into the book and do a better job at convincing your audience.”
It was an amazing time together and it reinforced my strong belief that younger women have so much to say to older women. I have spent the last ten years teaching high school students and I continue to tutor and meet with some of them this year. Although there is only one Coco, I can confidently attest to the fact that there are many articulate, enthusiastic, hopeful, loving, creative and generous teenagers out there. I think they get a bad rap.
I have often witnessed knee-jerk reactive assumptions made by older people – “they have no respect,” “they think they know everything”, “they don’t care about anyone else but themselves”, “they’re lazy”, “they never seem to grow up”…and the list goes on. It’s a shame because these people are missing a chunk of perspective that will keep them thinking young.
I love the energy of young people. I love to listen to their opinions and their ideas. I love to be involved in their life, and they in mine. Thanks Coco, for putting up with me.
Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Timothy 4:11