Are You Looking For Trouble...or Adventure?
When you notice a group of teenagers hanging out, what is your first thought or feeling?
Here’s a story I read recently that may appeal to those of you who know teenagers.
As I was heading into my local Los Gatos, Calif. Safeway store, I noticed four young boys hanging out in front. They looked "up to no good" to me. I watched them closely when I entered and left the store, but while I felt uncomfortable, they just kept talking and laughing at one another's jokes.
I wondered how potential home buyers visiting the Los Gatos open house across the street would feel if they also noticed these "neighborhood troublemakers." I didn't see any obvious lawbreaking, so I left them behind and went home.
When I got home, I greeted my own teenager and noticed with new eyes the resemblance to those other "troublemaker" kids. It occurred to me then, that no matter where these teenagers go in Silicon Valley—to Jack Fischer Park, Rolling Hills Middle School, the bus stop, or the street corner—when they want to hang out outside, they look suspicious to people in our neighborhood.
Later I told my aunt about it and she wisely said, "Oh, young men always look suspicious. That's because they're looking for adventure."
Her comment helped me see the kids differently. They want adventure, not necessarily trouble. But without a positive opportunity, they may find trouble instead, especially during the summer with more free time.
What do you remember about being a teenager during the summer? Were you looking for adventure? Did you find it? Was it good or bad? Would you ever want to be that age again?
In remembering your childhood, what adventures changed your life?