Getting into Good Trouble | July 31, 2020
Three Things This Week
1. Microsoft Family Safety
What it is: Microsoft launched its own screen-time-management software this week.
Why it’s different: Though initial reports seem to show it’s much like Apple’s Screen Time or Google’s Digital Wellbeing, it has one important feature: It syncs across platforms (Windows, iOS, and Android), as well as across devices including the Xbox. Both Xbox and Playstation have already offered some time-limiting controls, but this is the first time an app will sync between phones, computers, tablets, and a gaming console, making it easier for parents to monitor their children’s online activities, create content filters, and set the duration of their screen time. Of course, it’s not just a benevolent move since they’re hoping to get more people into and dependent on the Microsoft ecosystem—and ultimately push them to be Microsoft 365 subscribers—but it may be worth checking out whether the system is a good solution for your family.
2. Teenager Therapy
What it is: A podcast by teens for teens that has captured the attention of thousands of high schoolers across the U.S.
Why teens like it: Started by five teenagers in 2018, the episodes consist of them simply relating their experiences, offering advice, or just talking about “anything in order to keep our audience company.” Glancing through the list of 94 episodes reveals no topic is off limits—they’ve covered everything from being a foster kid to productivity to sexuality and everything in between. Especially during the pandemic, teens have turned to them for comfort, for advice, and even as someone to turn to when they feel they have no one else. It might be worth listening to a few episodes as a way to gauge what your teen might be interested in, as well as how to approach and talk about those topics (or even assess what gaps you might need to fill in or bad ideas you might need to correct for your teens).
3. TikTok Pregnancy
What it is: A 17-year-old girl who found out she was pregnant chose to keep her baby.
Why she chose life: The story went viral this week after her mom made a TikTok explaining how she found a pregnancy test wrapper on the bathroom floor and immediately but calmly talked to her daughter about it. Once the pregnancy was confirmed, she told her daughter that her three options were abortion, adoption, or to keep the baby, then let her daughter ask questions and weigh all the pros and cons. The daughter ultimately chose to keep the baby, saying, “I felt that keeping the baby was the right choice for me, knowing how supportive my family is, especially my mom.” Though Axis is deeply saddened that abortion was one of the options she provided, we do think this shows how the mom’s decision not to react out of fear or condemnation, to be supportive, and to speak life to her ultimately helped her daughter choose life also. (Check out our blog for a more in-depth analysis!)
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Getting into Good Trouble
Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis was laid to rest in Atlanta, Georgia on Thursday. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the early 1960s, Lewis became a leader in the fight to end segregation in the American South. He was a Freedom Rider, he spoke at the now famous 1963 March on Washington, and he courageously led the “Bloody Sunday” march in Alabama. But more than anything, it was Lewis’ faith in a loving God that motivated him to work for racial reconciliation.
In confronting the evils of systemic racism, he once wrote, “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.” And though his courage and determination to end injustice led to his arrest 45 times, he was also known for his mercy as he publicly forgave and even became friends with a former KKK member who had beaten Lewis nearly to death in 1961. As former president Bill Clinton said at his funeral, “When he could have been angry and determined to cancel his adversaries, he tried to get converts instead. He thought the open hand was better than the clenched fist.” And we needn’t agree with everything Lewis stood for to appreciate his lasting legacy.
Odds are, most teens probably don’t know much about Congressman Lewis. But maybe that needs to change. In a time of partisan polarity and rising hatred toward the “other,” Lewis’ legacy of creating converts instead of participating in “cancel” culture lives on.
Our children will have their own battles to fight. They have within their power the ability to create lasting cultural change. In Lewis’ words, “Ours is not the struggle of one day, one week, or one year…Ours is the struggle of a lifetime, or maybe even many lifetimes, and each one of us in every generation must do our part.” As parents, what part are we playing to help them fight evil and injustice without becoming evil and unjust themselves? How are we training them to live out their faith by speaking truth, loving justice, and joining God in the renewal of all things? What part can we all play in making America a good, kind, righteous, compassionate, merciful, and equal nation under God with liberty and justice for all?
Keep the Faith!
The Axis Team
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