Sunday, February 11, 2007

Rethinking Identity

If you don’t have a solid sense of who you are and where you come from, you will be more vulnerable to the pressures of fitting into one particular group or another. Do you know any adults who still have not discovered their place in the world? Do they still fall prey to the pressures of “grown-up” social groups? Do you know any adults who pressure their children to be popular or to participate in a certain activity due to their own insecurities and lack of identity?

Go to a youth sporting event and simply observe the parents in the stands. How many of them are trying to find validation? How many are searching for some sort of idea about who they are through their children’s success, or by refusing to allow them to fail? How many news reports have we heard about parents who start fights in the stands and act in an outrageous manner toward coaches in such situations?

We can help the students in our sphere of influence move beyond the fear of nonconformity and onto the path of discovering what is true and noble about their heritage. If this battle for the self can be faced and overcome in adolescence, then a healthy transition into adulthood can begin.

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