myth |miTH| noun
1 a traditional story, esp. one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events
2 a widely held but false belief or idea
Is it possible that a vast majority of people alive today are afraid of (or closed to) the idea that we are in the middle of the major revolution of human development? Is it possible that what we’ve always preached about “being connected” was simply a unanimous, unconscious directive to connect to the machine—to the existing synapses of society? Is it possible that we never meant for our youth to connect outside the existing junctions we’ve built?
And is it possible that we accidentally built an equity machine, and now many of us, especially those in/with power, are afraid to give in for fear of losing our status as leaders, guides, teachers, rulers, gatekeepers, and owners?
My favorite parts of the definition of the word myth are:
1. “early history of a people” and
2. “typically involving supernatural beings or events”
We are in the early history of a people—a connected people. My argument here is that the exponential growth we’re experiencing is not being matched by an exponential growth in wisdom. We aren’t digging deeply. We are building bridges and vehicles faster than we can sanction the rules of the road. We aren’t modestly reflecting each morning before we build the next bridge.
We haven’t prioritized the truthful version of our progress.
This disconnect is not within our youth, but rather within our governing bodies, our leadership, and our parents. Because we’re subscribed to a myth about our youth, we are predisposed to a blame mechanism when our youth enter the equation. The “supernatural beings” in the definition of myth are misguided manifestations of our own young people, and the “supernatural events” in the definition are confusing reflections of our own inability to digest global forever-change.
If our youth are in some way disconnected from the old junctions of society, then they are entitled to “declare the causes which impel them to the separation” (Declaration of Independence). They are doing just that. They are sharing intellectual and emotional space, art, beliefs, opinions, truths, libraries, and hardships. And it has become theirs. We’ve built something that we cannot rule, and they are declaring their independence.
Welcome to the equity machine. Welcome to the shift. Welcome to the connected world, a world where our youth can learn, play, communicate, and create without you…
…but they can do it a hell of a lot better with your partnership, guidance, and wisdom.
They’re gonna cross that street. You might as well walk beside them. Hold they’re hands if you must, but don’t watch from the sidewalk, yelling that they’re doing it wrong.
Close your eyes and consider that you are a factor here. Close your eyes and reflect on how you’ve treated the idea that our youth are disconnected.
Now, open them and see the truth: that this is the most connected society the world has ever seen, and our youth are in front of you leading the charge.
Just like adolescents of old, every single member of our youth are making mistakes in a new frontier. They’re mapping the wilderness; who can blame them for making mistakes?
The disconnection is within us—the leaders, guides, teachers, rulers, gatekeepers, and owners.
But that too can be a myth. If you make it one.