Sunday, February 7, 2016

Strong roots, great shoots

Joyce Sasse
Spiritual Gleanings by Joyce Sasse

“This place doesn’t have work for our young people!” It’s a common complaint in most rural communities. But we need to look at the other side of the coin.

I ask the grumblers what they are doing to encourage their youth to take pride in their rural roots?

Certainly the availability of jobs is important. But it is more important to give these kids strong rural roots, and encourage them to get out into the world to try their wings, to enlarge their experience, and to gain confidence in themselves through following their dreams. Do this and many of these young people will choose to return to smaller communities, either to work or to retire. And they will bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Families, neighbours, teachers, church and political-minded folks should be mindful of how their words and actions can instill life-giving spiritual values in these young lives. They need to know people care about them, want to encourage them, make them feel they belong.

Those who love the land, care about the ecology and understand the rhythms of nature, need to be intentional about sharing their understandings. Grandparents, teachers and trusted mentors can communicate how important it is to build strong relationships, act responsibly, and care for others.

Kids need to hear stories, not from the artificial world of the TV, nor from the cold world of texting, but from the living world that surrounds them. In quiet ways they can be shown how their roots are anchored in rich traditions, and that strong living plantings reach up and out to wherever their imagination can take them.

Our “Village Values” are an important commodity that the Global World needs, and with these village values, our youth can go anywhere and be the best that we have to share. They can lead us into ever new tomorrows.

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