Opening Words from Sun. May 7 by Sharon Sally

Hello everyone, I’m Sharon Sally, and over the past year I’ve been the primary advisor of the Ethical Society’s Youth Group, and Coming of Age, alongside my co-advisors Scott Wright, Nick Flatbush, Chris LaCoste, Sean O’Hara, and Dan Overmann.

I’d like to briefly thank my co-advisors for helping with CoA/YG this year. Not only for their time but also for the perspectives and skills they have brought to the group.

We couldn’t have gotten through the year without you.

Over the past 9 months, the group has had a lot of interesting and in depth discussions. As well as some healthy debates. All with a few jokes sprinkled in of course.

After all, you need to lighten the mood a little when you talk about things like human rights, politics, and climate change every Sunday. Especially at this point in history.

For example, this year we have talked about how horror stories reflect the fears of the creator and society at the time they were made, and how the kids could use art to express those fears for themselves.

Or the time the kids were having a debate about a movie, and so Nick and I took the opportunity to use that moment to teach them research, critical thinking, and debate skills.

We have had some great speakers come talk with the kids as well this year.

Such as, Brian Vanderberg, one of the Ethical Societies members, who came to talk with the kids about what it means to be resilient, and what that looks like.

Or when Destiny Green from Safe Connections came to talk to them about how to have relationships that are safe and healthy.

I’m really proud of these teens, and the people they are growing into.

They want to learn more about the world around them, and they know how to find the answers that they seek.

As well as having good critical thinking, and decision making skills.

They understand the importance of relationships, and having a supportive community that looks out for each other.

They know the importance of self care and have been learning how to take care of themselves, mentally, emotionally, and physically. And they encourage the people they care about to do the same.

They also understand the importance of having a sense of humor, and not taking things, or themselves, too seriously.

The youth of the Ethical Society want to make the world a better place, and are willing to make some “good trouble” to do it.

Now, this isn’t to say that they won’t need some guidance and help from their family, friends, and this community every now and then.

But I have every confidence that these kids will be alright,that they will go on to do great things, and change the world for the better.

One week at a time.

One day at a time.

One step at a time.

NOTE: The ideas and opinions in this post do not necessarily express the thoughts or opinions of the Ethical Society of St. Louis or its leadership.