Couth: A Word Young Adults of This Generation Ought to Know and Understand
Written by At The Crossroads,
in Section Teen Life
Have you heard the word Couth? If you heard it in a sentence today, would you be surprised to hear it? How often is such a word used in the current young adult population? Is the rising generations taught this word and the meaning of it? And should they develop it? I think so, yes they ought to, and let me expand on why.
A few months back I was talking to a hard working self made man. At an unbelievably young age, he was able to retire and live a life of financial independence. He chooses to work currently because he was raised to work hard and wants to, not because he has to. He has not been tethered or weighted down by debt; he pays for everything with cash, and is able to have the freedom to do what he wants, when he wants to. Young adults or kids look at him and ask him how can they tread those very same spaces. They ask as if in a relatively short amount of time, they could be in the very same space if they just follow the plan or steps he shares with them.
His response is simple and profound…earn it, work hard for it, learn how to hustle, and be patient with the process, because when you put your own skin in the game and earn your own way, it is hard not to have more value and appreciation for that which has been accomplished or acquired. He notes in his younger days, the hard-working hours put in with his father running duct lines, and installing heating and air conditioning units. He shares the three hard labor jobs he had at 16, and later on in his 20’s working up to 80 hours a week to make a business successful. Nothing about this incredible man’s past speaks of a life of ease, or comfort growing up. Raised in a big city on rough side of town, it was survival, hustle, tenacity, figure it out, problem solve, and HARD WORK.
Often as he shares a snapshot of his story, he loses his audience, their eyes start to gloss over and the non-verbal disengagement is seen, they pay lip service to what he shares, but they have stopped truly listening. Is this because it sounds harder than they wanted it to? He knows it; he sees it in their faces, their ears have turned off. He smiles, shares anyway with the hope that where one doesn’t have the patience to absorb what he is saying, another someday will.
He looks at me and notes that many of the young adults and kids these days need to have more patience and a willingness to work hard, to put in the time, and to build stamina in layering a life for themselves. He is wise beyond his years, been places most people dream about, and has a deep respect and awareness of how to be fiscally smart, disciplined, and well rounded with his life. Then he says it to me, Jen on top of all those pieces, many in this generation don’t have couth, more of the kids these days need to know what that word means, and beyond what it means, weave it into how they show up in their lives.
The definition of Couth: to be sophisticated, polished, cultured, refined, and well mannered. How does a young adult in this day and age develop couth? Where would one start? How would doing this help with becoming an independent young adult?
In Part 2 I will share my thoughts on answers to these questions on how young adults can develop couth. Why it would be helpful to their character development, and how it would enhance their journey to independence. Stay tuned!
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