Confidence is a necessary item, especially in young people. Looking over a few of the press clippings from when I was an undergraduate at Penn State University, I found my response to a newspaper editorial when I was only twenty years old and freshly appointed by the Governor of Pennsylvania to serve on a University Board of Trustees with 31 Trustees who were highly successful adults in their fifties and sixties – CEOs of banks and pharmaceutical companies, politicians, and leaders of labor unions.
My response to an editorial addressing whether or not I was ready for such a position included the following phrase, “The question is not whether I am ready for the “big wigs” mentioned in the editorial, but rather are they ready for me.” Pure confidence that I find myself admiring as a person now approaching the age of some of those other 31 Trustees.
What our world needs now, and what the church world needs as well, is young people with confidence. Sure, they have a lot to learn, as I did (and still do). However, our world is not going to get better without confident young people in every field of endeavor. Confidence is no sin. Of course, our confidence must go beyond the limits of our human abilities, to a faith beyond ourselves (Hebrews 11:1).
However, my concern is that young people would not lose hope, would not turn away from the desire to take the reins of leadership and create a better world than the generation who came before them. I remain grateful for the 31 older, wiser adults that created a genuine seat at the table of leadership for a young woman and taught her how to think through issues, formulate workable solutions, and create policies that result in lasting organizational change.
When young people aspire to lead and believe in a better tomorrow, we are all in good hands.