Monday, February 2, 2015

The Importance of Teenagers

by M. J. Joachim

Teenagers are amazing people. They seem to just overflow with ideas and enthusiasm. They understand right from wrong. Sometimes teenagers challenge authority. It isn't about rebellion, as much as it is an effort to find truth and justice. These individuals make choices that can change the world. Society takes teenagers for granted, often overlooking the good that they do.

As a group, teenagers have a reputation for being defiant, rowdy, and rebellious. Yet, they are some of the hardest working people we meet. Most of them juggle school, work, and entertainment while facing internal dilemmas about who they are and what they will become. Many of them have difficult home lives to add to their plight.

Teenagers face a world of rejection every day. They are stereotyped, judged, and ignored. Some of them act out just to get noticed. It is not easy to prepare for adulthood; young adults need to have interaction with people other than their peers. While many of them push the limits, most of them stop before things get out of control.

Teenagers face serious consequences for pushing the limits if and when they get caught. Not only do they have to answer to the person who caught them, but they also get to chalk one up for adding to the reputation of all teenagers. Everyone seems to get involved. Authorities contact parents. Parents contact teachers. Teachers recommend counselors. Siblings want things the way they used to be. No adult would have to deal with so much scrutiny for an offense that, while not being a very smart choice, didn't cause very much harm in the grand scheme of things.

Teenagers are often taken for granted because they embrace life without being controlled by it. Eventually, they become adults who give into societal norms and expectations. For now though, they will seek to find their place in the world, often wondering if they belong at all. They will follow the rite of passage that allows them to act out, only to be called normal rebellious teens.

Teenagers will pull away from their parents in an effort to become themselves, ever thankful that their parents knew it was just a phase. Then one day, as they make their way through life, they will spread their wings and fly, just like a butterfly coming forth from a cocoon. Suddenly, after a long exhaustive journey, they will emerge anchored by the love that allowed them to become who they are.

Their journey will take everyone around them on an amazing adventure. When people take time to listen to teenagers, they will often be amazed at what is said. Teenagers dream of making the world a better place. They question faith and rules that don't make sense to them in a genuine effort to understand. Sometimes their questions lead the rest of the world to stop and take pause.

Without simple reflection on why we believe, or how we can improve society, we become caught up in achieving success. Too often we ignore the process it takes to achieve our goals, without checking our work along the way. That's when teenagers become invaluable. Certainly society could never live without people who not only make sure we do the right thing, but that we are doing it for the right motives as well. On that note, I hope you hug your favorite teen today. I know I will!

Thanks for visiting Effectively Human today.

M. J. Joachim

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