Are We Expecting Too Little?


\"nycbuildings\"Article by Guest Blogger, Jack Redmond

I recently returned from two trips where I wasn’t really paying attention much to the news and all happening on planet earth. But in the past several days I have had several people say that they can’t watch the news because of what’s happened in the last 2 weeks. These people were from different places and different situations, but they were saying the same thing. I think we can agree that crazy things are going on all over the place.

We have ongoing protests with racial tensions in two US cities, Ebola knocking at our doorsteps and now here. Isis is literally cutting people’s heads off across the ocean and a man now in the USA beheading someone, with it being classified as “workplace violence” like two guys getting in a shoving match after someone spilled coffee on the other in the lunch room. Oh yeah, don’t forget the Pastor with AIDS having sex with people in his congregation.

Has society gotten to a place where we just accept whatever is thrown our way?

Are we expecting too little of our children, teens and adults?

Who are the thought leaders, community leaders, pastors and governmental leaders that are willing to aim for a standard and help others get there?

Are we a people who have no hope?

It has been said, “The inability to find meaning in life causes people to lose hope.”[1]

It leaves me with the question: With the multitude of teachers, pastors, coaches and guidance counselors, are youth growing up without hope because we are expecting too little?

If our cities, suburbs and small towns are to be healthy, do we need to expect more of people in their youth and into adulthood?

Does our inability to see the leadership abilities in young men leave a vacuum that the gang fills with prestige and honor of leadership on the block?

Does our love of beauty and talent overshadow the value of people who are gifted in the mundane where most of life occurs?

Are we willing to intervene with those struggling and have the courage to expect a lot from them? I think many are intervening but not expecting greatness from people that already have greatness within them.

As Dr. Perkins and Wayne Gordon state in their book Leadership Revolution, “Children born to unwed teen high school dropout are 10 times more likely than other children to be living in poverty by the time they finish grade school.” Along with that, they discuss that good leaders often have their roots in stable families where love, security and affirmation exist. Addressing this particular situation of not having a father in the home, they state: “Absent intervention of some sort, these children are more likely to end up in prison than they are to become good leaders.”[2]

Have we bought into the lie that young people can’t become great leaders and strong members of society?

Have we become weary of doing good and come to expect too little from ourselves, our ability and our calling?

I have worked with youth for over 20 years and have seen thousands of committed people attempting to intervene in these and every other type of situation. These are most often good people giving all they have. And I don’t believe it’s just a money shortage. In some public schools, they are spending over $20,000 per student!

But I wrestle with the reality that there are multitudes of people who are willing to intervene in people’s lives and many who work very hard at it, but it seems like things are still trending in the wrong direction in so many ways. So I am left pondering the question:

Are we expecting too little?


[1] Perkins, John M, and Wayne Gordon. Leadership Revolution Developing the Vision & Practice of Freedom & Justice. Ventura, California: Regal, 2012. p. 19

[2] (Perkins et al. 2012, 18)

Dr. Antipas L. Harris
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