We must listen to understand today's youth

We can learn a lot from today's youth if we only take time to listen.
A bright, young man proved that to me recently.
Jackson Bonsall (pictured) is from from West Salem. Jackson, 13, is quite a fisherman. In fact, he caught the first "keeper" sunfish of the day off Ol' Tom's boathouse the day we met.
Jackson is a friend of "Junior," Ol' Tom's son, who took over the boathouse after his dad passed away a little more than five years ago.
Junior and I fish off the boathouse at least once a week. We usually catch enough fish for the fry pan, but have had relatively poor success this summer. However, Jackson had the magic touch during his first time on the boathouse.
While Junior and I don't really care how many fish we catch, it's refreshing to welcome a new face and voice into our morning bull sessions reminiscing about our good old days hunting and fishing together.
Junior and I did more listening than talking for a change. Needless to say, we learned quite a bit about our new fishing friend.
We learned Jackson, an eight grader at West Salem this fall, is also quite an athlete, enjoying a very successful summer baseball season on the West Salem youth team. He is an all-around athlete, but enjoys baseball the best. Jackson is also well-versed in all sorts of sports whether it's high school, college or pro levels.
We also learned Jackson enjoys fishing on Lake Neshonoc in West Salem where his grandparents have a lakeside cabin and dock. Jackson told us he often catches enough panfish and catfish right off the dock.
After visiting with Jackson for a couple of hours, I realized why some older people don't understand or appreciate our general youth population of today. They simply won't take time to listen. Those same adults can make all the negative remarks they want about today's youth, but Jackson definitely left me walking away with a positive feeling.
Thanks, Jackson. Hurry back. You're welcome anytime. You brightened our day.