Monday, March 5, 2012

Who We Are

            Hello World! My name is Leaping Lizard (it’s a pseudonym) and I am the editor and collaborator of The Thought Box. I am sixteen, love Ultimate Frisbee, create digital art, play the piano and the alto and tenor saxophones (jazz is the rule), listen to Phil Collins, and laugh at Brad Stine. I’ve been homeschooled by my Mom for my whole life and am extremely excited to begin sharing my thoughts and the thoughts of my colleagues with you. My colleagues include other like-minded young adult homeschoolers.
But what do we DO? What is our goal with this collaborative blog?
            First off, our goal is to grow, be grown and grow others. We hope, through writing these articles, to challenge others and ourselves. This means that we need you (the reader) to send us helpful insights, constructive criticism and the things we missed (or –grammatically – that I as the editor missed). We hope that if one of our articles speaks to you in a special way, or if you are able to use any practical things we might share you would let us know. Our goal to grow to be strong Christian men and women through the things we learn in writing these articles.
            Secondly, we want to have something productive to do with our time. If we have a purpose to our time it will be used more efficiently. I don’t know about the other writers, but in my opinion there is no bigger waste than wasting time (except wasting an opportunity to share Christ).
            Remember what I said earlier, we want to challenge and be challenged? Another of our goals is to raise the bar. Many people today refer to young adults as teenagers. I dislike that term. It implies that young adults (people between the ages of about 13 and 20) are not adults. That those in our age group get a ‘buffer-zone’ between childhood and adulthood where we should be free from any responsibilities (both with our bodies and with our time) and get to lollygag around until we get sent off to college to party, I’m sorry, re-learn what we should have learned in Highschool. This is the mentality that is killing our culture. Do you know when the word Teenager (not teen age which means the same thing as old age for a different age group) was first used? The first published date was 1941 but it did not become popular until around the 1950s. Let’s do a little math; if a person was thirteen in say 1970 – a little buffer for the word to take effect – they would be about 50 in 2007 – when the economy started really tanking – this generation is now in control of our nation (please note that I am stereotyping – if you are of this generation and have a different mentality, or were raised by parents with a different mentality, I mean no disrespect).
I recently read an article called “The myth of the Teenager*”. The author stated that before teenagers there were youths (young adults) who “knew that adult life was different than a child’s life. They planned to grow up, leave childhood behind and become adults.”* Teenagers did not have the same view of the future. Beyond the teen “world there is no adult life . . . no future with goals.”* Did you catch that – beyond the teen years there is no future with goals. Now, look at the economy, the mentality of the nation; ‘let’s post-pone this decision so we don’t have to deal with it.’ When young men and women are not asked to ‘Do Hard Things’ (see Alex and Brett Harris’s book with the same name) they won’t. And they won’t when they have larger responsibilities; unless they refuse to stoop to the low expectations.
            Probably one of the most quoted verse in regards to this issue is 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (ESV). When quoted, many times we will focus on the first half of the verse, “Let no one despise you for your youth” But the second half is just as, if not more so, important as the first half “but set the believers an example. . .” Paul is saying that in order for people not to look down on us they have to look up to us. Another great verse is in 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I spoke like a child; I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways” (ESV). When I became a man I gave up childish ways. There is no middle ground. You are either an adult or a child. I once heard a teen described as “a three year-old and a thirty year old in the same body.” That is a great description of a teen: while they have the capability to be mature, they frequently act like squabbling toddlers.
            I could go on about how George Washington was the official surveyor for a whole county in Virginia; charting back woods and hiking through uncharted forests alone at the age of seventeen. Or how the rest of the founding fathers were still those of teen age when they began doing big and important things and how they weren’t the exception – they were the rule. But I won’t. I want to finish by saying that those of teen age have a choice; will we be young adults with a plan for the future, or will we be teenagers and act like three year olds? Will we look up to men and women of valor, or will we choose to emulate the lifestyle of prosperous teenagers (rock stars and the like)? The decision is the youth’s, but the parents, the pastors and their peers all have an important role to play in making that decision. So, if you’re a youth what will you choose? And parents let me play the same tune one more time, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he grows old he will not depart from it.”
            Alright, the rant is over, you can come back. The Pseudonyms for our other writers are The Comma Queen and Haiku. Please check back on Tuesday for Haiku’s bio and then Thursday for The Comma Queen’s.

     Leaping Lizard


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