Compassion & Teens

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” 
― Plato

In-between practice drop off and game start time I attempted to google articles on compassion for teens making decisions about their future. I found a lot of college versus trades information, some TED talks on taking gap years and how to work with fair test schools that do not require types of tests for admittance. These were all actually informative but not what I was going for. 

There IS a beautifully written blog out there, but I am going to break my blog silence and attempt my own. Feel free to share with me things you find on this topic.

We have extended community friends who lost a daughter to suicide in 2018 because she felt she was a disappointment. One of our kids has a friend who overdosed because he did not get into the college he hoped. These are just two stories whirling in my mind at 4am as I try to sleep. How do I extend compassion on a community level, to teens I do not even know, to tell them they are worthy? How do we infuse compassion and acceptance into the stale idea of life being a journey? 

I am not sure if pressure is higher, or if social media highlights success in a way that makes failure more painful, but I do know I want to be vocal in choosing acceptance over expectation.

"Bear one another’s burdens, and  so fulfill  the law of Christ." 
Galatians 6:2

We have children who will get scholarships, we have children who will not attend a four year college. Our household has special needs and high academic achievers, some combined. As we move into choosing future paths, choosing class schedules, choosing what to focus on, I want to make sure the conversation is open to creative measures of success. 

To all those wandering, no need to think you are lost. To all those scared to make a bad choice, most of your choices are likely solid. To all those thinking they let their parents down, you didn't, they are adults with their own life, their job is to love and support you. Yes, set your own standards of excellence, never stop achieving and growing. But please don't over think what someone else is doing. What YOU are doing is worthy. If you need help, ask for it, shout for it, demand the help you need.

I will worry about my kids at 4am, and yours as well. But rather than judgment what I feel is genuine curiosity, compassion and excitement for what comes next. 

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” ―Albert Einstein


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