Filed under: AL, Birmingham, AL, Civic Engagement, Commentary, Jay Saxon, people, urban issues
I went to my old Sunday School class at First United Methodist Church this week. Jay Saxon made a presentation to class members about his experiences while in Europe and the Middle East in the past year. Some of you may remember posts made in the last month about Saxon’s experience in Lebanon during the first days of recent fighting. He used pictures taken during his year in Budapest and visits to Lebanon to paint an image of a region that is in flux but is as much a part of the tapestry of the world as any other part. It was great to hear a perspective about what was going on in the Middle East from someone that had lived and experienced it firsthand. At the end of the presentation he had successfully captured the attention of his audience and made understanding the dynamics of the conflict a little bit easier.
I wished that more people in our church and community could here him talk about this. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, I think it would bring perspective to the conflict to people that normally take was is given to them in traditional mass media at face value without doing the necessary questioning that many have moved away from. This could be due to the lack of time that people seem to have nowadays to investigate what they want to know. I’m sure that many of the people that were there today felt more enlightened about the nuances of the conflict even if they never did any additional research on it.
The other reason is more subtle, at least to me. Here is a guy in his 20s talking to a group that was varied widely in age from him. He captivated his audience and showed knowledge and maturity that some would say is beyond his years. Something that has me concerned in this community is that many people automatically assume that because you are younger, you know less. I’ve always believed that age is a number and that experience provides maturity. Living life means that you have opportunities to gain experience, but not necessarily that you will use it. I know many older people that act incredibly young and childish at times. I know many young people that are wiser and more experienced than what their years on this earth would imply. This is a part of the country where age carries more weight than common sense. Thankfully, not everyone acts that way, but they are in the minority. Perhaps taking off the tinted glasses that allow this type of prejudice would allow for more things to happen. Young people are welcomed into any group, but at arms length. Not allowing them the opportunity to mingle and gain those experiences prevents some of those young people from achieving or providing to society all that they can. Let me know what you think.
BTW, based on what he said today, he plans to return to Europe in September to take a job at a law firm. Just adding more experience.
Have a great week.