"You're just a kid."
"You'll understand when you're older."
"You're too young to understand."
...Those sound like things people would say to children, right? Well, yes. Unfortunately though, those are things I'm still told today. And I'm 24. And married. And a college graduate (Not that those latter two things mean a whole lot, but I figure it should give me at least some credibility).
Most often I think I get these comments because I'm normally the youngest in social situations, and I have a hard time believing that I'm actually an adult. Most days I still feel like I'm 18 and just starting life on my own. However, that was actually 6 years ago. Why am I still told that I'm "too young?"
I don't think this situation is unique to just me - I know many others who are told that they're too young and "nobody likes people in their early 20's" (which that's just a super great thing to hear, by the way...). Why do people want to discredit us simply because we're young? It's always a wonderful thing when I'm actually complimented for my mind by someone older than me, but unfortunately it's incredibly rare.
I feel like there's a verse about that somewhere....
1 Timothy 4:12.
Just because I am young doesn't mean that I don't have solid thoughts, and it doesn't mean that those who are my age are just immature young adults. My peers are intelligent. They are verbose. They have credibility. I love talking to my peers and talking about life, God, social issues, and theology - I can do those things so much better with people in my generation, and I think that partly has to do with many people outside our generation judging us and thinking that we're just young and don't know anything. But we know better - we know that we have something to offer. We know that we are worth listening to. My conversations with my peers are almost always incredibly fruitful and productive - I can't say the same of most people who are older than me. Too often I feel looked down on, and that's not okay.
I think it's time that we all see each other not through the lens of age difference, but rather we should realize that we are all in this journey together. No one has everything figured out, no matter what their age. We could all benefit from respecting and listening to one another.
I know that I could benefit from listening a little more to those who are older than me, but I would personally really appreciate reciprocity. I don't just want to be taught - I want to be given opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas as well.
I don't know if things will ever change, but I hope they will. I know that, especially now, there's a huge gap between generations. As time goes on though, I hope that gap will continually grow smaller and start to close. We were never supposed to be divided - we are called to be united, no matter what age, race, gender, etc.
Let's start acting like the body of Christ that we are actually supposed to be.