Rude Teens

I've got plenty of un- scientific theories. The past couple of days I've been thinking some about ado- lescence. Two days ago I was in the car at around the time school starts in the morning. I come to a stop sign right by the entrance to the high school. After stopping I could have proceeded, but I saw a couple of kids approaching the crosswalk, so I waited and let them cross. They, of course, did not even pause or look at traffic, just cruised right across the street as if it were a seamless continuation of the sidewalk. Nor did they make any effort to look my way to acknowledge my little gesture of patience and courtesy. Nada. Yesterday I stopped to get gas and went inside to get some water. I offered an enthusiastic "thank you" to the teen-aged cashier. Not a word, not even a glance. No doubt adolescence is a stage in life when a huge amount of attention is paid to self. Teenagers can be extremely self-conscious. Egos are big. And often fragile. Peers are everything. Life would be nightmarish if all one's dealings were with the likes of these snot-faced ingrates I allude to. Nonetheless, not all teenagers are as inwardly directed, not to mention just plain rude, as the ones I've encountered this week. (Indeed, the majority of teenagers I come across are delightful kids, full of energy and good cheer!) And, let's not forget, adolescents certainly do not have a monopoly on bad manners. In any case, here's my thoroughly unscientific theory for today: some adolescents are not paying attention to the world around them. Their self-absorption "wins out" over other areas of emotional development and they consequently grow ever more frustrated. They fall deep into the hole of Self, condemning themselves to a lifetime of misery. For themselves and everyone around them. (I have no idea who the girl in the photo is-just an image that came up under "sullen teenagers." Hopefully just a bad moment.)

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