July 23, 2021

Life and Favor: Young, Wild, and Free?

(NOTE: This week’s Life and Favor article is written by Kathy’s 18-year-old son Gary Pollard who has been homeschooled for most of his life. After graduation this spring, Gary plans to attend the Bear Valley Bible Institute in Denver, Colorado)

I just finished reading a book called “Do Hard Things” by Alex and Brett Harris. In this book, they address the youth of today, the society in which we live, and how we have such low expectations.

Few expect teens to man up (or woman up… if you’re a woman) and be responsible, hard workers. Teens are seen as troublemaking, party crazy, pot smoking, lazy bums.

Alex and Brett challenge teens to throw off these views and do hard things. They tell us to step out of our comfort zones and do more for our church and friends and country. “Teenager” wasn’t even a word until Reader’s Digest used it in the early-ish 20th century.

Young men and women were considered adults as soon as they showed signs of puberty. They were expected to be able to do everything a grown man or woman could do. This included running businesses, taking care of a home, working a farm, or holding a job.

They were hard working young people who made a difference. Child labor laws forced kids to stay out of the workplace and into the classroom. Because of this, kids went from producers in society to almost entirely consumers.

All of a sudden, there were teenagers among the living. We became a whole new species, pretty much. The Harris twins coined the term “rebelutionary” to describe teens who did their best to be responsible and went out of their way to be hard workers.

I finish reading this book feeling very inspired and challenged. I wanted to do more and help other teens do the same!

Then I heard the song “Young, Wild, and Free” by Wiz Khalifa. Here are some of the lyrics:  “So what we get drunk? So what we smoke weed? We’re just having fun. We don’t care who sees. So what we go out? That’s how its supposed to be. Living young and wild and free.” There was more, but it’s inappropriate and I listen to something else every time it comes on.

I really do hate this song because, besides the blatant rebellion and bad lyrics, it completely justifies society’s scorn of teens and young adults. We must try to be more than how we’re seen.

“Young, Wild, and Free” is almost entirely about rolling joints the size of King Kong’s fingers, partying, running from cops, etc… Typical rap song. We are seen as rebels because, frankly, a lot of us are. I’m included.

We can’t let the world keep pointing fingers at us with good reason to do so. My challenge for everyone, and myself, is to completely live Young, Wild, and Free down.

Let’s completely shock the world by proving to them that not all teenagers act like unintelligent maniacs. Let show them Christ in us and Do Hard Things.~Gary Pollard

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