I am constantly impressed with the young people I meet. At GreenBuild we heard young adults from the group "Youth Speaks" give pieces on climate change, and they were powerful communicators. I know a young lady from Cleveland who when in high school arranged a program to send shoes to thousands of children in Afghanistan, when her uncle who was serving there told her that they could not play soccer in the winter because they had no shoes. My niece who is 12 is taking (and doing well in) college level Japanese classes with adults, she has been studying it for a couple years and if you ask her "Isn't it hard" she'll look at you like your crazy and tell you "It wouldn't be fun if it wasn't hard."
Yesterday we had a group of young ladies to our office from the Our Lady of Elms middle and high schools. We are doing a new gymnasium addition for them, and were having them to our office to talk about green design. With young ladies from 11-18, I was worried that my normal talk on green design would bore them to pieces, but not only did they stay interested, they asked insightful questions that show that THEY get it. We went through a series of problems and talked about solutions to them. The questions also showed critical thinking skills, one girl asking if we really were saving resources by rehabbing existing auditorium seating instead of new. Which, I thought, showed that she was thinking about what we were talking about. Another girl asked if the wheat straw board we used for wall partition surfaces in our offices was really a good thing, because we were using food sources for building material.
I choose to believe that the "normal" kids are like the exceptional young people I have talked about above. If that is the case, I think we will leave the world in very good hands.