By Jesus Puentes
There is a multitude of voices that vie for your attention every day. There are commercials for products or television shows, your family and friends asking you to spend time with them, and professors or bosses that expect your full cooperation and undivided attention in the moment of duty.
Whether broad groups of voices, or individuals, at any given moment of your life, you end up having to choose only a relative few that will have your serious consideration. Put very frankly, I’m here to make the claim that the voice of our young adults is one that is not only worth hearing, but to which it is imperative that you give your serious attention and consideration, just as much as it is important for young adults to consider the voices of other generations, older and younger.
So I present to you, “Up and Coming,” a monthly column that will deal precisely with this voice that reflects the middle ground between the trials and apparent insanity of adolescence, and what one would hope to be the stability and self-realization of middle adulthood.
As you can probably tell, that middle ground is an immense stretch of land, complete with its own unique and shockingly varied geography. So to represent such a voice will require an interaction with broad span of people, and with a great many experiences that range from the mundane chores of everyday life to the real, hidden mystical experiences that young people have, to a lesser or greater degree. It will be my great pleasure—an adventure even—to seek out and meet with these young people and delve into these experiences, in the hope that these conversations and shared moments with our young adults will translate into relatable, insightful, and purposeful writings that will peer into the hearts and minds of the people that are soon to take the reins of our society. Hence the title, “Up and Coming.”
This is about faith; it is about life; it is about wonder at beauty, and uncertainty of the future. All of these things are shared among people of all generations, and this is one of my great hopes for this column: that is, that through it we can begin to come into a dialogue between generations, so that we can come to understand one another, the younger and the older, and so that through this understanding we can come to have greater peace and a more loving society right here within our own diocese. Love doesn’t shy away from the truth, and truth be told, neither will this column. So expect that there may be moments when your view of certain things will be challenged, and other moments where they will be affirmed by the many points of view that will be presented here from this point forward. At times the topics will be unspecific, and other times they may be deeply personal.
Note, also, that constructive argument, and critical thinking is welcome here as a response to anything written, because the point is precisely that we come into a dialogue, and that we seriously consider other people’s point of view. For that very purpose, if you should wish to contact me directly, regarding anything relevant to this column, you may do so at my e-mail address, which I will provide at the end of this first edition. Of course, though, if you don’t really want to contact me (which is ok too!), but you begin to even reflect upon what is said here, then the purpose of my efforts will begin to be fulfilled. That being said, I’ll catch you in the next edition of Up and Coming!
Jesus Puentes is a third year philosophy student at the University of California, Riverside and Volunteer Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry at St. Mary Parish, Fontana.