Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
In a typical mentor relationship an older, more experienced individual shares the benefit of that hard-earned experience with a younger person. Recently, however, I read an article about older folks taking on younger mentors. These younger folks were providing their older mentees with unique insights into digital cultural and other changing social norms.
It was an interesting read, but one I didn’t feel applied to me. As a late Gen Xer raised in the 80s and 90s, I grew up with computers. My generation practically created digital culture and have advocated for or against most of the other social changes to come down the pike over the last few decades.
“Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt,” as the saying goes.
I didn’t have anything to learn from a kid, I thought. Then, last Wednesday, I saw the West Carter Lady Comets’ Allie Stone getting her elbow and knees wrapped after her game and realized that Stone, and other student athletes at East and West Carter, have taught me a lot over the past year; especially about perseverance and dedication.
Stone isn’t the biggest or the tallest member of her team, but what the guard lacks in height she makes up for in heart. During her team’s Wednesday night win over the Bishop Brossart Lady Stangs Stone turned in more than half of the Lady Comets total points, 28 of 53.
Stone didn’t earn that many points because she’s an infallible machine. She earned that many points because she kept trying. She scored on 10 out of 17 attempts at field goals, and connected on eight of nine attempted free throws. She never quit, and her elbow and knees showed the impact of the game on her body. But she persevered to bring her team the win.
Stone isn’t the only student athlete to exemplify this level of dedication. Her teammates work just as hard as she does, and so do members of the West boys team and the East Carter Raiders and Lady Raiders.
It’s fashionable to make fun of the kids these days, with Millennials (most of whom are pushing 30) and Zoomers the butt of jokes and memes. But this has struck me as unfair for some time. There’s nothing wrong with these younger generations. “The kids,” as Roger Daltrey sang back in the 60s when the Boomers were young, “are alright.”
Pay attention to them, and they might just teach you something too.
Jeremy D. Wells can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org