Ever have one of those great ideas but find out that somebody has beat you to it? My idea was to inspire the other teenagers around me to be something more than anti-intellectual slackers who goof off.
And then I found out that there is a pair (twins!) of teenagers named Alex and Breet Harris that has been doing just that. They wrote a book called Do Hard Things (image from Amazon.com) which encourages teens to get off of their sorry arses and… do hard things.
They support that ignunt fool Mike Huckabee, are planning on speaking at Focus on the Family later this month, and in their interview with NPR (how I heard of them) Alex said that “Our life narrative is are we being faithful servants to Jesus Christ? And when that’s the narrative it makes sense to be doing what we’re doing. And if that’s not the narrative… it’s kind of meaningless ultimately.”
To be fair, the other twin said that the point of doing hard things is to grow so you don’t necessarily have to share their faith. But, on their website they say that they’re doing it “for the glory of God” and I’m afraid that, as an Atheist, I’d have to say that they’re doing the right thing for the wrong reason.
The way I see it, they’re doing the right thing to suck up to Jesus and the Judeo-Christian god. So, why do I think that teenagers should actually be doing something with their lives at this age?
Because you’d be surprised about the wisdom we can gain from 13-18 years on Earth (I certainly gained quite a bit, though I’d be the first to say I don’t know everything yet). Because we all have talents which we are capable of applying to fixing problems. Because we’re all human and humans ought to do good in the world.
I think that Alex and Brett probably agree with those reasons, even if they’re doing it for other reasons.
But, as much as I would endorse activism for teenagers, activism for a bad cause does more harm than good. Which is why I would not just encourage teenagers to be activists, but to also think about the causes they are supporting. If teenagers can learn to be freethinkers, I have reason to believe they will do what is right more often than what is popular, or what their parents have indoctrinated want them to do.
Think about hard things. Then do hard things.