22 in the Suburbs
This musing was written down while considering the different service opportunities to get the youth involved in during their coming summer holidays. Stay tuned for a post dedicated to the many thoughts I experience from barbecuing and going to the beach on Christmas!
Suburbia is great. It’s quiet and peaceful and a respite for those who work in and near cities. The possibilities for community are endless because everywhere you turn is another neighbor. They’re wonderful places and necessary inventions. This is my first time really living in one though, and I think it’s safe to say they were not designed someone in their early 20s. In fact, early adulthood is probably the only age demographic that is not highly populated in the suburbs. Of course you have your older adults with every range kid from baby to finishing school, and you have your old retirees that have moved to the suburbs for a life with a small lawn or because they wanted to downsize or be closer to the grandkids. In that way, I suppose suburbs are the modern response to the village, though the cycle is perhaps turned around. Instead of children moving back home to continue the family business after school, the older generations are moving to where the younger ones have put down roots. I guess this has come with the transition from continuing family trades to choosing whichever career you want. It’s the cultivation of every movie where the child of the baker, mechanic, carpenter, or what have you only truly wants to be a guitar player or chef or what have you. Need I mention “Ratatouille” or “Coco”? In a world where following one’s dreams is becoming more commonplace all the time, the idea of a family trade becomes nothing but a memory. All this to say, the suburbs are lovely and an answer to a need. They seek to create a home and community for people who have been uprooted in pursuit of jobs. They meet a need that the free world has only really offered in the past century, but they’re not quite as I imagined having watched “Home Improvement” and “Lizzie McGuire” growing up. I think we take for granted all the great potential that suburbs have to offer. TV shows are just entertainment, but I think a lot of our truths are translated into the art we make. Meaning this: perhaps we need to take a more literal look at what Jesus meant when he said “Love your neighbor.” Who knows? It might just change the world.
From my edge of the world to yours,
Resident in Mission for WME