Lately I’ve been spending quite a bit of time engaging teenagers in conversation via a mentoring program I am now donating some time to. My role is to come in and offer insight into social education.
I find their conversations very interesting when speaking to them about the things that they may encounter throughout life, the ways in which society operates that they have yet to experience, and problems many of them will deal with in relationships (intimate or otherwise). I listen to them as they speak, in sometimes barely audible voices, about the hang-ups they are now experiencing in high school. Their experiences range from not being able to speak up or out – to experiencing violent relationships at school and at home. A traditional education will be able to help them with the first part, but who will prepare them to deal with the rest of what life will throw their way?
Although a traditional education is an important key to your success, too many people are throwing all of that success away because they have never been taught how to make good decisions when it comes to matters that are more emotion based. No matter how highly educated you are, if you don’t make good personal decisions, true success in life will be very short-lived.
Many of the kids are now in the process of choosing schools and identifying scholarships. I sometimes find myself feeling sorry for them as I watch them prepare for college. It has nothing to do with the difficult decisions they will have to make regarding their education; it has everything to do with which one of them will throw all of their opportunities away over a quick decision made during an emotional state.
I’ve worked in the Mental Health field and operated a Domestic Violence and Anger Management program for over twenty years. Through working with mentally ill adults and speaking with court adjudicated persons about Domestic Violence and Anger Management, I’ve seen all too often lives destroyed, families torn apart, and loved ones lost due to people having no idea how to handle their emotions. Because of this I have developed a strong compassion to aid the younger generation. It is amazing that with all the programs being introduced into schools these days, even those that discuss the consequences of your actions, the handling of one’s emotions, is hardly touched on. As responsible adults we must put more effort into understanding how to successfully deal with our own emotions and then communicate what we’ve learned to the next generation. It is the number one starting point. I’ve started. Will you join me?