“As is the generation of leaves, so is that of humanity.
The wind scatters the leaves on the ground, but the live timber
Burgeons with leaves again in the season of spring returning.
So one generation of men will grow while another dies.”
— Homer, Iliad
It’s not surprising that there is a lot of worry out there that Generation Z is in trouble.
People think this post-millenial generation is too connected, too addicted to their phones, too pampered, and too self-absorbed.
Yesterday, I got to hear Generation Z’s response.
Nine speakers from Generation Z, ages 10 – 16, competed at the winter Future Stars Toastmasters speech contest. Here’s what they said.
- Nabeeha talked about how social media is a drain on her time, her grades, and her goals, and how having one good friend beats all the online friends in the world.
- Lamisa told us that even though she carries a heavy burden, trying to live up to expectations, she’d rather have stronger shoulders than less responsibility.
- Hammad expounded upon the virtues of having big ideas, and that everyone’s ideas are important.
- Feroze underscored the power of volunteering, and his desire to see more of his friends chip in to make their community better.
- Jasiah showed us that the joy of learning that a Lego Robotics team competition isn’t about winning the competition, it’s about a winning team.
- Talha spoke about the wisdom his father told him to be calm in the face of discrimination rather than wrestle with a pig.
- Lee Ann publicly extolled her pride that her mother ran a cleaning business and her father was a pipe fitter while announcing her goal to go to Harvard.
- Fiona spoke passionately about her own successes and failures, and how she’s going to keep trying no matter if she wins or loses.
- Jada told us how she spoke up at Portland city council meetings in defense of her school, noting impassionately that she wants to “be the change.”
Yeah, I’m not too worried.
Yesterday’s gift of time … MC’d the Future Stars speech contest, helping to build a supportive framework within which these amazing young women and men of Generation Z can grow and prosper.