I would not typically find it inspiring to talk about such activities as mundane as a Yard Sale, but surprisingly they are not really mundane. In fact, they are quite entertaining. I noticed that there are two kinds of sale-goers. There are the people who are just passing by and decide that it might be worth it to check it out- you know the spontaneous type. But then there are the real yard sale scouts. These are the people who have the iphone app telling them where all the yard sales are today. Or the people who have a schedule written down (you know the old fashion way) of every sale in the area. Needless to say, these people mean business. In this group, there are also seems to be a divide. There are the people who are on a mission to find a certain type of item. For instance, there was a woman who likes to make jewelry out of random junk, so she goes to yard sales for the purpose of finding said random junk to turn into her version of gold. But then there are the people who buy everything in sight and you know they are buying it just because they have some sort of weird fetish and probably need to be feature on "My Strange Addiction" or some other reality television show glorifying their habit. Okay, these people probably are not that bad, but still why do you need this random junk that is probably going to add to the pile of stuff sitting in your own garage that you should probably start selling now. Just a word of advice. (Dear future self: please be a minimalist).
I think the reason I enjoyed the yard sale is because I enjoy "people watching." And I enjoy it more than the average person. I also enjoy eavesdropping on other people's conversations. I am not ashamed to admit it either. It is very worthwhile to do both. You learn a lot about the world and about people.
You remember the crazy jewelry lady that I mentioned? Well she started going on and on to my Grandmother about how she is so thankful that she won't be around when the next generations rule the world. Apparently she knows for a fact that we will certainly screw it up. That was a moment (I have had countless in my life) where I realized I am so blessed to have the Mommom that I do. She said to the woman, "Oh I know that they will figure everything out. They will do great." (Sorry lady you are talking to the wrong person- my Mommom was a teacher). But still, I was so proud in that moment that I came down out of the tree (yes, I was climbing trees like a child) ready to back up my Mommom because I figured she might mention her love for Barack Obama (YES!), which could lead to very intense discussion. But emerging from the tree forced the woman to turn her attention to me. I am sure she was thinking "ah another failed youth with no summer job wasting away climbing trees." She started asking questions about my future plans. And thankfully answering with the Peace Corps really shut her up. I am not sure her views on it but thankfully she seemed to be satisfied with that answer. And she left soon after that, thankfully.
But had she stuck around I would have definitely made my case for us (not just for me joining the Peace Corps as proof or if it needed defending but also for the other countless causes and wonderful things people in my generation are doing and will do) : My generation is not failing. We are doing things our way. And we will figure things out. Because we have to.
Besides I think it would have also been important to remind her that the other generations were (are) not perfect either. But this is not a competition, right?
I have to say that it is moments like these where I also realize that I have found my calling in Youth Development. More than anything I believe in raising earth's children to be the leaders that we need. How can you do that when you are so busy knowing that they (we) will fail?
Maybe the problem is not us. Maybe it is you. And the way you look at failure.
Until next time, treat the youth in your life with a little respect...
(Also, treat the awesome Mommoms in your life with respect too) : )