I am amazed by our amazing youth! Yet again I had the pleasure of presenting A Life in Pieces to a group of almost male teenagers, you know the ones who are often blamed for much of the turmoil surrounding families and communities. I continually hear how youth are bullies, disrespectful, lazy – just plain difficult. In session I refuse adult attendees because as the teens create two personal puzzles, one the “I AM NOT” puzzle, the other “A Life in Pieces” puzzle, they feel free to disclose many issues causing them frustration and sadness. With adults present, teens shut down and create their lives to make the adults happy.
This year, as in all years, the teens disclosed what is most troubling to them, screaming the truth that “I am NOT you! I am NOT a puppet! I AM ME!” giving us adults clear signs of distress in our constant need to create them in our image; into adults way too soon before they have explored life; before their brains are developed fully. Screaming out “we are NOT the same” is stressing the need for individuality in personality and character, down to even how a child attends in class, as some may learn in stillness and others while fidgety and seemingly unfocused.
We, the adult population, have so much to learn from youth if we would just take a few moments and listen.