“If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with children.” — Mahatma Gandhi
As adults, we look to teenagers as those who will eventually be making important decisions concerning every aspect of our world. Older generations sometimes worry about the upcoming “iGeneration,“ fearing that youth today lack values, morals and work ethic . Those who hold these views have not experienced the privilege of working with teenagers. Drawing on my personal experiences, I hold high confidence in our youth today. They have a powerful voice and we need to listen. This I believe.
I believe in the compassion, creativity, idealism and positive energy of young people. They are not just our future, they are the now.
Throughout my years of working with adolescents, I have learned many important life lessons and I would like to touch on the top five that I believe have been most impactful for me:
Allow space for creativity. If you believe strongly in something, then push against the status quo. You imagine how things could be, not simply accepting them for what they are.
Seek out novel experiences. Hold onto that courage to leave the familiar, certain, and safety of the known for the unfamiliar and uncertain world beyond.
Embrace your emotional spark. Don’t ever temper the powerful passion you possess to live life fully.
Hold close the desire for friendships. Close relationships are the central importance of our lives. Relationships are the key factor associated health and happiness.
Laughter is key. Being able to express unbridled joy through humor and also not taking ourselves too seriously will encourage growth and promote happiness!