Figures gathered by the International Labor Organization say that 75 million young people are unemployed, or 12.6 percent of 15-to-24-year-olds worldwide. Some in the older end of that group are considered highly qualified people stuck in temporary jobs far from the field they diligently studied for. Many are said to be wondering about their future, their independence, and their security as they put off marriage and family.
They are being called the “lost generation.” One definition of “lost” is “mislaid or left in a place unknown or forgotten.” An imposing label for a rising generation! Knowing my own pure desire for progressive good, I instinctively reject that label. Because I’ve turned to God for renewal and healing for many years, prayer helps me see that no situation is out of the range of the one God. In the abundant good that our Father-Mother God is giving to each of us as His-Her cherished children, there is safety and prosperity for each of us. No one, and that includes each young person, can be left out of divine Love’s abundance.
What about the fear of scarring effects on young people from deep skepticism and distrust of governments and institutions, of increased violence and political unrest? King David in the Bible, who naturally turned to God to pray about many things, gave not only a poetic answer, but one that is spiritually practical today. He saw the need to pray for the rising generation “that our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace” (Psalms 144:12). Although these metaphors seem a bit obscure today, they suggest spiritual attributes of sturdy growth, constant flourishing, strength of unity, an undying cultivation and usefulness. They point to the Godliness of being the image and likeness of God (see Genesis 1:26, 27), deriving all purpose and excellence from God as well as how to express them. Here there is no wasted productivity, no possibility of obsolescence of useful ideas to bless the whole world.
The young people of the world, and all of us, belong to divine Mind, in which all right ideas derived from Mind are in balance and in which each one of divine Love’s children has equal access to the infinite goodness that will never run out. I have found that praying with these spiritual facts helps me understand that the imposition that young people are the “last ones in and the first ones out” during a suffering economy is powerless to touch their spiritual identity – their only real identity – which can’t be separated from God, Life, the source of all right ideas and inspiration.
Praying with these ideas enables me to see that young people do not have to bear the brunt of economic instability. They don’t belong to mortal thinking that includes hopelessness and worry. The world’s youth is unfolding in divine Love’s orderly plan in which there is no guilt, condemnation, or resentment.
Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science and of The Christian Science Monitor, was keenly aware of the limitations of mortal existence and the infinitude of divine Love. In her most important book, “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” she wrote, “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (p. 261).
Prayer that reaches out for a deeper understanding of our real spiritual identity is a force for good for young people across the globe. It will bring comfort as they navigate through these tough economic times. In fact, it will do a world of good for all of us.