Complacency.  Apathy.  Laziness.

All traits I associate with most American youth.  Whether it be my dealings with them on the bus … or at a restaurant … or while trying to walk through the mall, it seems those traits are perpetuated time and again — at a complete disconnection from the wonder and potential life as an American citizen holds.

You hand them freedom and opportunity on a silver platter and they complain that their parents won’t buy them a $500 mobile phone.

As those two young kids on Saturday Night Live ask, “Really?”

But today — if even for just a day — I admit I caught a glimpse of something entirely different.

As I stood in line at the polls, oh, about 60 voters deep or so when they opened, I noticed the usually monolithic, pre-dawn crowd of blue-haired women and rankled old curmudgeons was absent.  In its place were voters young and old, men and women, of all different races and backgrounds.  The poll workers themselves reflected the same spread.

The economic crisis in the U.S. and ongoing military conflicts worldwide remind this old canine of times he’d rather not revisit.  The situation requires terribly difficult decisions made by whoever assumes the Oval Office — and the know-how to lead a nation yearning to be better than she has been.

It’s not going to be easy fixing these problems, by any means.  But the American spirit doesn’t get tampered down.  We don’t back away.  Together, we take challenges head-on.

And there could be nothing more thrilling to me than to see so many Americans taking an active stance and voting — especially the young ones.