Conversations with a Teenager

July 4th with Daniel and Nick.

July 4th with Daniel and Nick.

It’s been a few months since my last post.  Life has become a bit more busy since becoming an “insta-parent” to my 15 year old brother Nicolas.  He has been living with us for about 2 months now.  It’s been wonderful to see how he’s constantly evaluating things and figuring out what he believes.  And because he’s constantly questioning, it leaves me in the spot of giving parental sounding reactions that I never thought I’d give.  Here are a few such conversations on the important things in life.


After Nick told me that he identifies himself as an agnostic, he asked what I thought.

“I think that is fine. Because even though you’re not sure if God exists, he’s sure that you do.  And I think that at some point in your life he will make himself known to you.  It might be years from now, but he will.  Eventually, you will have to make that choice of whether or not you will deny His existence.”



After hearing a short piece on the radio about immigration reform, Nicolas said, “I think that we should help the people who are immigrating to the US.  They just want to work and make a better life.”

“I agree,” I said, “but I also think that they should work towards citizenship so that they can vote and pay the same taxes as everyone else.”

At this he frowned.  “I think that when I turn 18, I’m not going to vote.”

“Okay,” I said. “But never complain about who’s in office and how you don’t like what they’re doing.”

“I just don’t think it matters.”

“That’s exactly what a ton of other American’s think too.  And guess what?  Even though most people show up to the big presidential elections thinking that it is the important one and that every vote counts, those votes don’t count nearly as much as in the local elections.  I work the polls every election and know that it’s the 40 people that bother to show up that control this township and the however many die hard voters that control the county.  No one thinks that those elections matter until their property taxes spike or their school district is failing them because they’ve got a crappy school board.  Then the non-voters start complaining and that’s just a waste of perfectly good air.”


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