Blowing Kisses to Lauren – I Have Faith in our Youth

December 27th, 2011 by Rich Christiansen

On any given night there are anywhere between 5 to 15 young men at our house for dinner. We manage our home not by control systematic mechanisms, but by total chaos. Last night was the ultimate joy and experience of not only chaos, but just a real, joyful experience. All of you who know me, know that I have an incredible, intense passion for Nepal.

There has been one family in particular that I have become very bonded with, to the point that I consider these young men and young women my children. We first went to Nepal in 2001, met our Nuwang, brought her back to the U.S., raised Nuwang Sera Sherpa as our precious daughter.

Several years later we took our oldest sons, John and Matthew, to Nepal. They became dear lifelong friends with Tashi and Tenzing Sherpa. Indeed this week our ultimate dream was realized as Tashi and Tenzing have done very well in school. They have followed my education requirements and are now here in the United States. Tashi arrived about a week ago and was able to come to our home for the first time, last night.

He will be going to Snow College next year with his brother Tenzing. As everybody heard about it, all of our wonderful friends and the wonderful friends of our children gathered together to meet Tashi and Tenzing and to celebrate. At the top of the list were Scott Harward and Wyatt Earnst, who were John’s dearest friends growing up. Our favorite thing was when Scott would fling open the door and say “I’m Home!” that is exactly what he did when he came over.

Last night we had a huge, blow-out game night expecting Tashi to invite a young lady named Lauren to join us along with a handful of friends. What we thought would be five or six individuals turned out to be 19 young men and one young women, Lauren. As each young man would walk in the door my heart would swell with joy knowing that that was a strong, determined, intelligent, capable young man and I would add the count for Lauren saying, “Now you have 12 adoring fans Lauren, 13, 14,” and the count went until we hit 19.

We had a joyful night of eating pizza, playing games, interacting with these young men and I want to say this boldly “I BELIEVE IN THE FUTURE OF OUR YOUTH!” There are more qualified, capable, incredible young men and at least I know 1 young women out there that will make a difference in this world. I know that things are challenging and this diversification into an international economy is tricky and scary for many people, but I want to, with boldness and with confidence say, “I BELIEVE IN OUR YOUTH!”

I believe that there is brightness in store for everyone. I believe that there is enough positive energy and goodness to solve our problems. I think the next major challenge that we have, as a society, is to end poverty–to bring equality to all the world. We can make the world a better place, especially with the positive influence of our youth. I look to the youth with great confidence, because I observe them everyday! I love those 19 young men who gathered in my home last night. And what a delight it was to also have one beautiful young woman join the celebration.

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