The United States of America’s most valuable and most neglected resources.

American’s treasure is youth. Adults deplore looking old. New and young are the trophies of today. Heaven forbid growing old.

The elderly are cast aside to nursing homes. Many brilliant men and women retired are never asked to share their immense life experience resources.  

The elderly are the most neglected resource in America. As a rule, we do not respect the elderly. We do not listen to them or seek their counsel. We are not interested in their life stories. We don’t learn from their successes or their failures.

We think we know more than they do.

Today, society lives to please their children. Parents fall into the trap of working hard to make their children happy. Too few parents are focused on making children do the right thing.

Child-happy trumps child-working-hard and doing the right thing. We now live in the generation of ME.

Fact is, happiness is a product. Happiness is the product of doing the right thing at the right time.

If the goal is to make the child happy, beware! You are training a child to be self-centered and entitled.

Modern day experts on child training would be wise to read the account of two brothers in Genesis. One did right, one did wrong.

The question to the wrongdoer was, “Why is your face so downcast? Why are you so unhappy?”

Simple answer. The kid did wrong!

No question in my mind, our most valuable resource is youth. They are our future.

Crowell has been in the “kid biz” for over 50 years. As a 21 year old college senior, Susie and I were dormitory parents to 110 men. Most were 18 to 21. One was 44 years old.

One night Daddy Crowell had to have one of my guys, 27 years old thrown in Jail for the night and removed from his dorm room the next morning.

It took this severe discipline to wake him up!

My message of hope for you and me today is wake up!

Treasure youth under our authority by having crystal clear instruction with red lines bathed in tough love.

My message of today is seek out the elderly in your life. Take time to listen to their stories. Each story is a miracle. Find ways to use the national treasures.

Both our youth and elderly are national treasures!

Treasure those older people in our lives with respect and dignity. Find ways to draw deeply from their wells of wisdom. Everyone has a story.

Learn the stories of grandparents and retired folks. Find ways to bring value to them. They are national treasures every bit as valuable as our youth.

Recently I was privileged to be in Scammon Bay for the Kick Off Basketball-Classic.

Jaden Ulroan is one of our national treasures. The Yupik culture honors and respects the elderly. The amazing thing about this photo is there is nearly six decades and two generations difference between Jaden and me, yet there is profound affection and appreciation for each other.

With God, there is no separation between His people.   

Peter inspires me with these words:

‘And now, a word to you who are elders in the churches. I, too, am an elder and a witness to the sufferings of Christ. And I, too, will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world. As a fellow elder, I appeal to you: Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly-not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example. And when the Great Shepherd appears, you will receive a crown of never-ending glory and honor.

In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you, dress yourselves in humility as you relate to one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”‘ – I Peter 5