Brutal beating to be posted on You Tube, high school kids having sex while in school, students being charged with pornography for sending nude pictures of self to other students, students on spring break surprisingly candid about drug and drinking activity, posting illegal and reckless behavior on My Space, texting while driving, the latest risk taking behaviors from the newest drug to punching and choking games speeding you name it, so then it becomes easy to shake your head and say kids today. However there are positives kids are doing today in greater numbers while the adults who should know better turn out to be no better than their notorious young counter parts. Case in point the Midwest woman and her boy friend who actually put the woman’s children in the dryer for misbehavior; a recent story, a 39 year old Ohio woman who was pulled over by police for talking on a cell phone and breast feeding her infant child while driving. A man in California sold his 14-year-old daughter to an 18 year old for a reported $16,000 several cases of beer and several cases of meat; police only found out when father went to them claiming payment was not made.

Much is said about teen alcohol and drug behavior but what about the 11 year old who dialed 911 when his mother had him blow into the breathalyzer machine on her car, which was installed after 2 DUI arrests, the teen who dialed 911 from her cell phone while her dad, who had had a few too many at lunch, was speeding down the highway, or the other terrified child talking to 911 while mom is weaving all over the road. Another case of adult insanity is the woman and her boyfriend who smoked pot in the presence of an infant child even giving him hits from a bong, and even worse, they filmed it. This is just one instance that does not take into account the number of children removed from meth lab homes or from drug addicted, neglectful parents. Teens reach the headlines for heinous and deplorable crimes even murder, as was the case with 4 teens high on drugs who beat a homeless man to death; however the Missouri woman and her boyfriend, who allegedly caused the death of their 2-year-old son, are no better. The boy who when examined was said to have, in addition to the burses and broken bones, duck tape abrasions on his genitals, among other places. When the home was investigated by police they found blood stained ropes fashioned into a makeshift harness.

And this adult insanity is not just limited to involvement and interactions dealing with kids; a man married his wife then put her in a cage, something the size of a dog carrier. There was the man burned over 20% of his body when his friend lit a mach next to a gas pump where he was pumping gas. How about the couple who tried to spice up their love life by using a power tool as an adult toy, resulting in serious injury for the woman, or the man arrested for DUI while driving a motorized bar stool.

For those who peruse the internet or frequent social networking sites, sites where you are invited to share your interests and experiences, you have no doubt seen the bizarre activities people have engaged in or want to engage in. Besides the myriad of sexual fantasies and fetishes involving swing clubs, wife swapping or sharing, trading nude picks wife or girl friend, rape fantasies, domination, there are other interests that leave the average person scratching their head. Aside from the number of stereotypical geeks who like Anime, Star Trek, Star Wars and Furry/Plushy conventions, there are of age individuals who seek out adult breast-feeding relationships, who are “adult babies,” or “diaper lovers,” characterized as those who want to wear diapers and infant clothing and be taken care of like a baby. Other strange interests include those who sell their underwear on-line, those who like to urinate or defecate in their clothing, some while in public, others who are sexually aroused by doing so or by wearing a diaper. These are activities wanted by a growing number of adults.

Let us also remember it is the adults not the kids, not the teens who are known for some of the most petty and violent behavior; one example, a medium sized town with a bible belt values orientation staged protest outside the local high school where some sort of vigil was being held for 2 of the students, siblings whose mother had been killed when her ex went berserk. Their reasoning for the protest, the mother’s now lesbian lifestyle they claimed caused her death because being lesbian was a sin. Regardless of anyone’s religious views, there is the concept of time and place and the fact that that was not something these grieving kids needed to hear. I’m sure almost everyone heard about the woman who faced criminal charges for impersonating a teenager on Facebook to get back at a teen that had bullied or insulted her child; legal action was taken after the 14-year-old target killed themselves. Let us not forget it’s the adults who are running the big banks, who suggested the bail outs, who have made healthcare reform a literal 100 year fight, and upon passage of the current bill, adults leaving death threats on the phones of those who voted for it, likely adults who were responsible for the smashed windows at offices of those who voted in favor of the bill or democratic convention offices in some cities.

In contrast, kids today have it more together than their adult counterparts; teens in Chicago going before their local school board wanting better, healthier lunch choices. There was one young man, no older than elementary school, who saw people on the road in his hometown smoking cigarettes with their kids in the car; this young man, seeing the danger went all the way to testifying in front of his local legislature in hopes they would pass a law preventing people from doing so to their kids or kids in their care.

A second grade class set out to raise money for PETS (personal energy transportation devices) for disabled children in other counties; these simple wood and wheels constructed devices allowed a person with a physical disability or those missing their legs to use their arms to propel themselves, similar in concept to a hand bike. The second grade class set out to buy 1 PET to send to another country (at cost of around $250 to make); the class ended up raising enough for 10, one girl instead of asking for birthday presents asking for donations. PETS were given to people in poorer counties and countries where those with such infirmities are shunned, allowing them to no longer have to crawl on the ground in mud and dirt to get around, no longer having to take the chance of being run over or stepped on, allowing a disabled child freedom and the ability to go to school.

Another young man born with several disabilities, in part due to his mothers drug use, lobbied his local legislature to have mandatory drug testing, particularly for pregnant welfare recipients, as he realized how much money went into giving him an education. A classroom aid just for him, specialized PE classes, special education classes were just some of the things he needed. Things other kids have done include a young Florida boy who created Zack packs, gathering donations of water and other supplies to be given out to local hurricane victims; another boy used his love of basketball to organize a hoops shooting fundraiser to build a school in Africa, with that success he went on to do it again this time to build a hospital. A young athlete got the idea to donate care packages to kids and teens in the hospital. Kids have been known to begin their own charities, join existing originations or item collection campaigns, motivating their classmates to do the same, one collecting coats for homeless and poor people, another collecting shoes for tsunami victims, Haiti earthquake victims, as well as the needy right here at home. One child sent their allowance to President Obama to help with the Haiti relief effort.

More and more kids today are using things like spring break and summer vacation not for drunken debauchery or causing mayhem but to donate their time to things like habitat for humanity, to go on mission trips to spread their faith and give aid to developing countries, participate in missions boot camp that will train them how to go on mission trips in the future. One young man diagnosed with cancer organized a campaign to raise both awareness and funds for the local children’s hospital; faced with the closing of the small school he attended one boy set about to raise money and succeeded in saving his school. A class of 9th graders was given $10 and challenged to find the best use for it; the students took their money turned it into thousands of dollars to help out a local food pantry, a local animal shelter, the local homeless shelter and gave money to a family that had been victims of a fire. But these things become blips on the news at best, shoved into last minute segments soon to be forgotten, because it’s not sensational, it’s not world beware.

This is the generation that says I want to help people, a generation of people who want to become nurses, home health aids, CNA’s, who want to work in social work, help victims of domestic violence, help people who suffered the same kind of abuse they have, who want to become teachers. These young people are the ones who want to open homeless shelters, soup kitchens, battered women’s shelters, children’s homes. These young people are the ones who want to make their world a better place; those with bad pasts want to use it to help others in the same situation, or before they get into that bad situation. It’s time they got credit for the good they do, as they see the possibilities adults do no, are willing to try the things adults won’t. By that same token, credit should be given to the kids who are just getting by, just living life, going to school, working a part time minimum wage job to help out family or pay for their luxuries the ones not making the horror filled headlines. As the title indicates perhaps the line should be adults today.