Anecdote: “What is Sex?”
One fine evening, 6-year-old Jo came running back from his school life. She ran to her Mama and asked “Mommy mommy, what is sex? “The obvious response an awkward look & the mother somehow diverting the subject matter. The duo blamed the education system, teachers, teens, and finally each other for their daughter’s untimely knowledge and curiosity behind terminologies, she was yet too small for!
Finally, the father decided to talk to the girl and using simple illustrations touched over the topic as briefly as he could. During this, Jo sat across her father gaping and marvelled and her father concluded by saying, ‘You will know when it is time.’ The little girl ran to her room and took a piece of paper. “So daddy, what should I write here?” The health questionnaire demanded the Name, Address, Sex of the child.
Anecdote: “The Teen Romeo”
Another event took place on one of my solo trips to Madikeri, Karnataka, India. The town was chilly in November and on the second day morning, I had decided to go for a run to keep myself warm. I had been jogging and listening to the bird’s chirping and on the way back, I took a halt at a college campus.
I found a group of 15 young people in their 20’s gathered around wit a guy standing at the epicentre and giving a speech. It was in a language foreign to me (Kannada) and I couldn’t make out more than the fact that he was complaining about something very agitated. I was resting on a bench when a teen girl passing by took a stop to sip some water, and I asked her what the group was discussing. She informed me that it is a college self-help group and addressed students’ issues within themselves.
The topic of the day being, “A guy was ditched by his girlfriend who was cheating on him and he hadn’t eaten for a week.” She translated that the boy was even caught with alcohol bottles in class when everyone started clapping and the lover seemed to be comparatively satisfied. I looked at her and asked, “What did he say?” and she replied with, “Don’t worry man! He realises he will get someone better.”
These stories collectively resonated how badly someone is guided by society, such as in the first story, the parents are failing miserably in understanding what their child actually wants and needs. Advice without even trying to comprehend the question is destructive.
It is almost certain that the youth will take advice that comes from their friend more seriously, and tend to have friends who say we want, what satisfies our ego, but never what we need. If we look at the lives of teens, certain trends can be determined such as attending colleges or universities, having a degree, the eternal search for jobs and some even going as far as attaining a PhD.
Since I’m in the middle of my 20’s, I can look back and see a life of 100’s including me. The observations I made and the experiments I had done with my life had several benefits. I’m not connecting these to advise on what you should do but portraying my point of view. I lived life in an experimental way and it affected the lives of many trying to answer “What Life is About” and trying to find answers than just partying and addiction! Life comes once and we should do make the best out of it.
For convenience let us fix a rule that one shouldn’t live a life which they don’t want their children to live. Isn’t it fair enough? Now think about it. Close your eyes and take the question in. Let it stir inside. Write down your answers if needed. We are talking about the vision of your life. Take all the compulsions out.
Since the time of youth is a juncture, all you need is some self-reflection and all that spirituality is about. It is creating and designing you that stays and guides on a path. Once you note it down- write down all the things that you want from life (or for your children, either is fine). Let all the stupid dreams get poured.
The first job is to empty mind and put it out somewhere. Slowly take off the things that could hurt someone. We are doing this is just because our lives are not just about body and mind but those around us. I remember a teen guy telling me that he wants to go on a dating spree and have fun with all the good looking teen girls. Well, one thing is sure it will leave you wanting for more and affect many lives looking for commitment.
High school and teenage life are important and give you a direction. It is an aesthetic way to get a job and earn a living. Besides, it offers certain things like friendships, focus, lessons etc, but one should never mistake education as a period of adventure. The things you do with friends, the teenage romance, bunking of classes are experiences anyone can have. But they are never enough for a human being.
The question is, have you really experienced teenage life to its fullest? And by fullest I mean seeing life as it is and without messing up anything? Well living just to fulfil your temptations leave you with stories that cannot be shared with anyone, and experiences that you yourself regret.
In conversation with my teenage cousin, he was constantly complaining about being locked up and not having to do anything. This ‘staying-in’ and saving the world was not going down well with him. On the other side, his teenage brother has made a plan to finish 3 books by this time. Who is more practical here? The one who complains or the one who tries to make the best out of everything!
Adventure is not about being in a roller coaster or having an adrenaline rush. Anything that breaks our compulsions and is beyond our comfort zone is adventurous. The only thing is that it shall not be harmful to others. It all depends on the choice you make. For example, you are given a 2-day weekend. There is a weekend party with teens on one hand. On the other hand, there are multiple options, like finishing a book, or a small trek or cleaning your house. Going out and partying with likeminded teens is easy. The other things need a little courage, an initiative and involve mindfulness.
In a nutshell, adventure is choosing a not so easy life- that others would hesitate to choose. It need not be going for a bachelor trip like Zindagi Naa Milegi Dobaara (Indian Movie). Adventure can be created, if not found in everyday life. Create a life plan as if a story is being penned down. The early ’20s is the best time to get things sorted out. And the most important task is to eliminate unwanted things.
Be brave and strike off all the things that you don’t want and start your journey afresh. Keep questioning yourself in whatever you do. Do you want your children to hurt someone? Should they fall victims to daaru (alcohol) and Nasha (addiction)? Do you want them to be a sexual supernova? How would you feel if they cry over a break-up and be depressed? Answer them and it will lead you to success. Teenage life is not just an indicator of hormonal upsurge – it is when life reaches a juncture – one of many junctions! Make sure you affirm your base and experiment. No matter what you do, do it well!
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