Monday, August 29, 2005

World Youth Day

Yesterday at Mass two girls of about 17 or 18 gave us a summary of what they saw and did at World Youth Day in Cologne. They seemed like very nice girls, but as they were talking my mind drifted back to when I was 17 or 18.

When I was 17 or 18 people like these girls used to put me off. I could never be so earnest. Or, even more difficult, was being so nice. Being nice never came naturally to me. Sure I could be nice when I really thought I had to, when the situation really called for it, but I couldn't do nice 24/7. Too much of a strain.

That was (and is) my impression of people like these young girls. They're always nice. One of my best friends in high school (a Protestant) used to go to Protestant Youth meetings at the urging of his mother. He wasn't that upset about it, however, because one of the best looking girls in school was a regular attendee.

I remember telling him (and he had less of a capacity for nice than I had), "Even if you succeed (with the girl) will you be able to endure all that pleasantness? I just couldn't do it".

That's my impression of World Youth Day – a million nice people in their late teens and early twenties. I hope the Germans coped better than I could have.