Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Hopeful twenty-somethings

When I volunteered for a local election, one of my assigned duties was a poll watcher, which, of course, I had never done before. I arrived at the location and was greeted by a young man (twenty-something), Jose, who was the first check point for the voters. When I announced my duty, I was given a seat a few feet away from Jose. The other poll workers were elderly women who were intent on sharing their soap opera views; how long they have been watching the soaps, which soaps they were watching, and wasn't it a shame that some soaps were taken off the air.

Jose and I began to talk. Turns out he is a student at MIT. We talked about quantum physics; he talked about the "perfection" of the atom. We talked about religion and how science and religion really do intersect. One of the most interesting things that he shared with me was that gang related crime was decreasing. He said that the internet has opened up worlds of possibility. High risk youths are no longer confined to a neighborhood corner life of crime; they now see/have/are exposed to world wide open options. He said that many young people are self-teaching themselves. They find something of interest and can gather and explore all kinds of information about it online and can become "expert" in a particular field. The internet information explosion also affects college (bound) students. Some students, once they become "expert," question the value of a tradition college degree citing Gates, Jobs, and Zuckerberg as examples. He believes that the way companies hire people is also changing and there is an increase desire in young people to become entrepreneurs. Interesting insights from an impressive young man.

Additional information can change opinions, beliefs, and subsequent behavior.

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