jeremy spoke in class today

I saw the film clip to an old Pearl Jam song today:

And he hit me with a surprise left; my jaw left hurtin’… dropped wide open

It was over ten years ago that I first heard that song: lots has changed since then. The obvious – I’ve finished school; and two degrees; I’m married; moved house several times…

The main thing that struck me, though, was how my empathy for teenagers has changed.

That particular song raises the situation of a kid who has grown up in a difficult home environments. Hearing it took me back to my late teens: I thought that the problems facing my fellow-teenagers were the most significant problems ever imaginable.

Remember when you were a teenager? When you still knew everything?

Now, I see the world through older eyes – teenage problems certainly feel overwhelming, and in many cases are never solved, but there are bigger concerns in the world.

Tsunamis, corruption, genocide.

I saw the film clip to an old Pearl Jam song today:

And he hit me with a surprise left; my jaw left hurtin’… dropped wide open

It was over ten years ago that I first heard that song: lots has changed since then. The obvious – I’ve finished school; and two degrees; I’m married; moved house several times…

The main thing that struck me, though, was how my empathy for teenagers has changed.

That particular song raises the situation of a kid who has grown up in a difficult home environments. Hearing it took me back to my late teens: I thought that the problems facing my fellow-teenagers were the most significant problems ever imaginable.

Remember when you were a teenager? When you still knew everything?

Now, I see the world through older eyes – teenage problems certainly feel overwhelming, and in many cases are never solved, but there are bigger concerns in the world.

Tsunamis, corruption, genocide.

Not only are there bigger problems, but the smaller problems have become worse. Boyfriend/girlfriend trouble makes way for separations and divorce. A friend moving away makes way for funerals.

Usually, if we’re going to make any difference in the world, it’s going to be in helping at this personal level. We feel for the friend who is facing a difficulty and spend time with them, trying to help them out.

Hearing the song today reminded me that I still help people out, but also that there are a lot of problems – big and small – still being faced by people that I’ve forgotten about.

With every funeral I attend, I have to ask myself whether the person was a Christian or not – so much is at stake there. The first time I went to the funeral of someone who wasn’t a Christian, I thought that I’d never forget about the need to tell other people about Jesus.

But like all the problems that aren’t staring me in the face, I start to forget about it. I take a laid back approach – maybe too often. If my friends were feeling pain over a situation, I wouldn’t hesitate to step in. When they’re facing a much worse situation, but oblivious to it, I try not to put them in an awkward situation, and keep my mouth firmly shut.

Does anyone else see people in bad situations and do nothing, or is it just me?

One thought on “jeremy spoke in class today”

  1. I remember being a teenager. looking back, it seemed so much easier, but living through it was pretty different.

    the world seems a lot bigger to conquer now, i remember thinking I could change the world.

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