Oftentimes we get so caught up in life and what is going on with ourselves, that we cast others problems to the side and deem them as insignificant. Especially if those people are our younger counterparts; kids, teens, little sisters or brothers. We have this mindset that they don’t have “real world problems” because they are younger than us. Yes, life adds on added responsibilities and harder decision making as you get older but we still can’t forget the problems and stress that we faced when we were their age. Everybody has things that they are facing, whether it be mentally, physically or spiritually. We have to be sensitive to that truth as we guide our youth. We have to take steps to have better and more open communication with the youth of today. The now generation has so much access to the world. Everything is literally at their fingertips. As an adult, sometimes I have no idea how to process all of the information that our phones and the internet allows us to have access to. It was even worse when I was younger. The internet is presenting teens with all of these different ways that the world wants them to be, classmates are taking different paths and trying to pull them along, adults aren’t really listening to the things that are bothering them because they see it as unimportant, and on top of that teens are trying to figure out the kind of man/woman that they need to be to navigate through all of these decisions. Sound familiar? We all know that it can be mentally exhausting and draining. It can make teens feel like they have no real outlet, and that the people they are closest to have no idea what they’re going through. This may push them to try to release their frustrations in so many different ways that don’t work and won’t fulfill them. We owe it to them and ourselves to be an outlet and to show them and help them develop a relationship with God so that He can always be their outlet. I completely understand how busy we can make ourselves and the excuses that we use when we don’t have time to impart in our youth the way that we should. Trying to build or hold down a stable household is something that doesn’t always come easy, it’s understandable. But trying to balance school, extracurricular activities, peer influence, chores, babysitting younger siblings, social life, and online influences isn’t an easy task either. I challenge all adults reading this to take time out of their day to just talk to the younger people that you have access to. Reach out to them, let them vent, let them talk, let them do whatever they feel they need to do in a safe, open, loving and nonjudgmental environment. You’ll be surprised at how much your kids, siblings, family friends, etc actually want to open up to someone. Be the light that you want them to be. Connect and guide them the way that you wish you had been guided. It all has to start somewhere. We must be the change that we want to see in the world and in our youth. So I challenge you,today and everyday, to strive to be that change.