Do you remember your Junior high years? My Junior high years could be summarized in one word – PRESSURE
- Academic pressure – Will my grades allow me to take the classes I need to have in high school?
- Peer pressure – Do I fit in? What is it that I want to fit in to?
- Parent pressure – Why can’t I talk to my parents? I don’t want to talk to my parents!
- Media (Self-image) pressure – Am I cute enough, sexy enough to be on the cover of a Hollywood magazine?
- Time pressure – school, sports, chores, hanging out with my friends? How do I fit it all in?
It is not my intention to get into psychological, physiological or hormonal changes that form the basis of these pressures.
Rather, I want to share the voice of these young people who are dealing with them. I want to share their words that come from their gut, heart, and soul, their feelings, their observations and the humor many of them use to make sense of it all.
Their journey is taking them into uncharted territory and frankly, many are not interested in listening to those who have traveled before them. (Of course, that was not my problem. I was always willing to listen.)
Some are entering this territory with the armor of support from parents and a loving, healthy childhood that has instilled in them a sense of security.
Listen to the voice of a child with this armor.
I don’t really need a gift because I have everything a child could hope for: loving parents, a bed to sleep in, warmth for my body, and food in my stomach. Some kids out there would pray to have those four simple things. This technology now has corrupted our minds into thinking we need all those expensive things when in fact we don’t.
The gift I would love to give is things to the homeless. My family and I want to go out this year for Christmas and provide them with clothes and blankets so that they don’t freeze in these cold winter nights.
Others – too many others – are entering into this new territory with no armor at all, resulting from a childhood that has instilled in them a sense of fear and insecurity.
Listen to the voice of a child without this armor.
A gift I would like to receive would be love. I would like love because I want to know that someone cares. Another reason I chose love is because I could talk to someone who would listen and not ignore me. This is why I chose love as my gift to receive for Christmas.
Most of us know young people who are on this part of life’s journey.
Will their armor withstand the journey?
How might you strengthen their armor?