Countering the Bigotry of Low Expectations

Ted was just a boy when he became a US Congressman. Well, to be precise, he was 24. But that wasn’t enough. He went on to serve as the Assistant Secretary of the US Navy, Police Commissioner of New York City, Colonel in the US Army, Governor of New York, Vice President, and President of the United States. The “Lion of the White House” Theodore Roosevelt did all this before his 44th birthday! (By the way, he won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1906 at 48)

Today, a generation is rising up who, in so many cases, gets falsely labeled and pigeon-holed into unfair comparisons. “Entitled,” “Unwilling to work,” and “Self-centered” are just a few of the descriptions tossed around when speaking of Zennials or “Gen Z”. But let’s take a step back and consider some possibilities. Is it possible that this up-and-coming generation is a product of its upbringing? Is it thinkable that these Zennials are a return on the investment that our society has placed in consumer materialism? Is it at all likely that these adolescents are simply living up the low standard that has been set for them?

In his novel Those Who Remain, Michael Hopf said, “Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And, weak men create hard times.” If this cycle is at all true, the good times of yesteryear have created a “weaker” generation and more concerning, we must prepare ourselves for some hard times that lie imminently ahead.

I appreciate the concept that I’ve heard our very own, Senator Tim Scott say, “We cannot succumb to the soft bigotry of low expectations.” I whole-heartedly agree! It appears far more likely that when the bar is set low, low achievement occurs. When the bar is set high, even if the expectation is not met, we get better results.

That’s why Palmetto Leads was created. In partnership with local churches, Christian schools, and pro-family ministries across the state, we have created a student leadership program that is raising the expectation of excellence for the next generation. How are we going to do that? We are going to reinforce the training they are getting at home and in church by reminding them that they are created, called, and can conquer.

Every person has been created with a specific purpose and plan in mind. God has put His image into all of us and we have been created to fulfill His will. He has called each of us to live the gospel every single day. Palmetto Leads is designed to not only train students how to walk in their faith, but to take it into every sphere of influence in our society. Whether a trade or vocation or the halls of government, the next generation must be prepared to live in their calling to give the Gospel away.

When they go into the culture, we want them to know that they are “more than conquerors” through the power of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit living inside of them. The same resurrection power that is the hope of our faith is living inside of Christian Zennials and we want them to charge into the darkness with the light and love of our Savior.

This 3 year leadership journey will guide students through experience each summer in Atlanta, Georgia, Washington, DC, and Israel. We are raising the expectation of excellence for our future by strengthening their unsderstanding to resolutely stand on the fact that they are created in the Image of God, Called to live the Gospel, and are Conquerors through Jesus Christ.  

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