Our society has been very thankful to the doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals. Grocery store workers, friends helping with delivery of food and goods, truck drivers, first responders and many other groups have been instrumental – working day and night to make sure that some level of normalcy, whatever that means now, continues in the United States of America and across the world.
However, I’m writing this article to thank a very special group of people whose contribution cannot be overstated. This is the younger generation of our country – whether we are talking about preschoolers, elementary school kids, junior high or high schoolers. Their lives have been turned upside down, too. And yet they have not only thrived, but have supported the so-called “mature” family members to deal with this pandemic.
Kids are not able to go to school, not able to meet their friends, and are not having any traditional birthday celebrations. There are no more sleepovers with friends, and their whole school paradigm has changed. They have no clue when schools are going to open, or whether it will be online only.
There is no clarity about when baseball practice will resume, when the chess and sport tournaments will start, and when will they be able to play soccer or basketball with their friends.
The current class – which is going to graduate high school this year – is being impacted big time. I’m sure these kids, in all of their wildest dreams, wouldn’t have thought about their graduation ceremonies happening like this.
As adults, we have seen many ups and downs in our lives. We have gone through many obstacles and most of us have dealt with many challenges and hopefully have developed a maturity to deal with these situations.
Surprisingly, this younger generation, which is short on life experiences, has been doing everything fantastic not only for itself but for their parents and community.
They are teaching us how to be adaptable. They are doing a lot of things like online piano lessons, singing, dancing, Tai Kwon Do, chess and distance learning without prior experience in these activities and excelling in them.
They have amazed the community with their compassion. You can see a number of high schoolers helping out the elders in the community, buying groceries and checking on them to make sure that they are alright. They have impressed us with their modesty and benevolence. There are numerous examples of kids making and distributing facial masks, food and required items to the needy.
With their innocence, they have kept us adults quite entertained and motivated. They are adjusting to somewhat limited resources, and though many of the younger kids might not understand exactly what’s going on, they have fared better than even some adults.
A country’s future is in the hands of its younger generation, and I’m sure that the children dealing with this situation will come out stronger, more resilient and resourceful, with better entrepreneurship skills.
I hope they will be better humans and citizens than we were, and help to ensure an even brighter future for our country.
Thank you, younger generation!
Dr. Aakash Ahuja is a Board certified Psychiatrist and works for California State Prison in Lancaster. Dr. Ahuja lives in Santa Clarita with his wife and 2 children.