A while back I was asked to write for school children.
Speak to them.
This is what I managed to put together.
Share it with a youngster you know ,if you think it communicates.
I write this with an honest heart, because I was once a teen, they tell me. Don't laugh. It is at this time in one's life when life should be at its best. When you enjoy what you need to enjoy and more. Responsibilities tend to come much later. We are in school, yes, but who said school cannot be fun! At this point, we have all the support we have, (I assume) from parents and teachers.
No one though wants to think like we do. It's annoying to be struggling to find belonging. I mean, at this stage, you are neither young nor old. When you act childish, you are rebuked as such. 'Grow up'. They shout. If you act old, they beat you back into line. 'Don't get ahead of yourself boy! Let the elders talk'. I know you can relate.
And yet I am telling you this. This is the best time to be free and to start enjoying your life. At this stage you are at your best in creativity. Don’t let on. People begin to nurture talent at this level. They decide who to be now. Don’t waste this time. Because of this, since your parents won’t tell you, let me, this is their most worried time too. Sadly, those who lose the way and decide to be losers, they start right here.
But let’s face a few facts too. I assume you have a dream at this point, take time to ask and research and think seriously just how much you can grow it. Leave the fear go. Great minds and talents have been built at this level. Ever heard of Michael Jackson? He started singing as a young boy. He is a legend. Or may be let's talk today. You heard of Justin Bieber (I suspect you have). Take the inspiration. It is not just music you can do. Write, play all you can, create, dream, imagine being who you want to be and start now.
In all this, study well. You have something going there. Use the opportunity.
Of course the reality is that sometimes we don’t get all the support we need (from family and school) people are struggling to understand us. Don’t lose hope. Learn to study them first. That way you have opportunity to relate relevantly.
At this point we also get challenged. We get kicked out of schools. Whether performance or discipline, don’t let it kill you. Start again and determine to be the best. Sometimes we lose family and friends. Fees payments fail. We may not be as smart either in class or famous on court.
Be yourself. People respect people who know who they are not trying to copy anyone. The most humbling experience for me was when a not-so popular girl gave her best in class for her reading and writing teacher. But the teacher had a bias and she never believed said girl could ever achieve anything. Determined to prove her teacher wrong, even though it took her years after she had left school, she wrote an article for the Daily Newspaper and she was published in several magazines and her only dedication was, ‘to my English teacher. Who never believed in me. This is me saying, I can write well.'
Don’t give up either, no matter the discouragement. Wherever it is coming from. 'Whatever you can conceive and believe, you can achieve’, Andrew Carnegie said. And if that does not light you up. Come closer home.
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. You’re playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Marianne Williamson (author A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles")
also attributed to Nelson Mandela at his inauguration as the first black President of South Africa, 9th May 1994.
Think about it and act about it.