Translation: I am afraid I am not good enough! I am afraid that someone might realize that and judge me! I am afraid that this somehow changes who I am inside!
"Where does that come from? I always tell my child how bright he is. He knows what a valuable person he is." Sounds familiar. We are so conditioned to believe that this is what all teenagers go through that our hand in it is forgotten. We unknowingly raise children to fear thus extinguishing true passion.
Passion.-Intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction.
-A strong liking or desire for or devotion to some object, activity, or concept.
Jump up and down and dance around if you feel a passion for your current job. Yell out "Hoorah!" if your passion for someone or something is unbridled. My guess is that many of us just stared at the screen thinking, "She's not serious." We live in a society filled with "do"s and "don't"s. They fill our every waking moment and we let them control every decision. What are we afraid of? Most of us are afriad of not having enough. Enough money, enough control, enough happiness, enough vacation time, enough love, enough, enough, enough. ENOUGH!!! This is the message we are sending to our youth. Don't do that, or you won't have enough money. Don't say that, or you won't get enough respect. Don't act like that, or you won't have enough love.
All of the amazing qualities we are born with, innate to the human condition, are slowly simmered down to nothingness. The curiosity of the two year old as she shakes the salt and pepper all over the restaurant table trying to figure out there really is something in there is halted by the disapproving glare of her parents. As the teacher tells little Suzie that her house drawing should have four walls, not three, the confidence seeps out to be replaced with fear of being wrong. Tolerance for every person, despite age, color, sex, or capability shines so brightly in the very young until mom or dad make a slip of the tongue innocently stating that boys are stronger than girls.
Curiosity, confidence, and tolerance are but three of the wonderful qualities that our children bring into this world. All of these beautiful gifts to the world are passion. Children are open to see the world for what it could be, which is liberating. Sometime soon, we will begin to raise generations breaking free of our constraints of fear. And then we will see passion all around us, flourishing.
Until then, we will continue to see youth filled with passion, but a passion to strike back at the world that has placed so many barriers. Their words will be filled with messages of hate from fear and lack of self-confidence. A fear that they were not born with. A fear that we instilled in each of them. Perhaps it is true that love and respect teaches more life lessons than rules and punishments. Perhaps celebrating our child's unique way of looking at a world governed by perceptions can lead us to a new era of love and understanding.