When I was in junior high, I ran on our track team. I specifically remember trying out for the 100 yard, low-hurdle competition. Wow. It was so much harder than the 100-yard dash. There were these barriers in the way that kept slowing me down, distracting me from getting to my goal. I eventually gave up and became a long-distance runner. I guess I’m more of a tortoise than a hare. The hurdles, however, have proven to be a great picture of life for me. Hurdles were never meant to prevent a runner from moving forward. They do, however, require athletes to jump them in order to progress. This may sound cliché, but life presents hurdles, too, that kids must jump in order to grow up. Sadly, some people, young or old, never make it past them and remain childish, even into their adult years. Instead, we pursue a life that’s faster and easier. The world we’ve created today, through technology and automation, has unwittingly erected some major barriers to jump. They’re becoming more ominous every year. They actually make healthy maturity difficult. Immaturity has little to do with age; it has much to do with perspective and experience. When it comes to building life-skills, technology is a blessing and a curse. Here are three hurdles that young people must jump in order to authentically mature:
1. Speed. It gets in the way of developing patience.
2. Convenience. It gets in the way of developing perseverance.
3. Passivity. It gets in the way of gaining genuine experience.
On Monday, I will elaborate on these three “hurdles” and suggest ways that we, as adults, can develop the virtues of patience, perseverance and experience in students.
Have a great weekend!