Tackling the teenage crisis

It is so unfortunate that in formative stage of adolescence, when children need a strong sense of direction and guidance, there is no source for them to get it. This is because the  family is no longer the strong institution it used to be; parents hardly have time to spend with their children. The educational institutions are primarily concerned with teaching professional skills without attending to the need to impart values and strengthen the character of youth. Hence, under this scenario, adolescents try to find support from other means such as their peer group, TV, books, etc.

It need not be elaborated here as to what kind of guidance and values are being given through these media. We all know very well that  most of the awful fare churned out by the entertainment and media industry is mainly targeted at the youth whose impressionable minds become a fertile ground for spawning vicious tendencies and irrational ideas. Tempted by the glamour and gloss that is promoted by the media, there is a constant conflict that adolescents go through in order to measure up to their peer group’s values and to cope with the ideals and the reality of life. Unfortunately, in the absence of proper guidance, it is but natural that many adolescents are pulled to crime, abuse and drug addiction. While family, educational institutions and social groups do have a major role to play in guiding and supporting adolescents, spirituality lends a deeper and stronger basis for forming a clear identity and value system upon which the edifice of a strong character can be raised. Spirituality empowers a person to lead a value-based lifestyle and helps him/her to understand the purpose of life and guides them towards fulfilling it through well-developed intellectual, moral and emotional qualities. Since spirituality touches on the core goodness of every human being, it is the most potent tool for guiding all sections of society. As per a spiritual perspective, all individuals have the potential to perform the best actions and every person has some speciality that needs to be shared with others. The process of empowering adolescents begins with this practice of treating them with respect and facilitating their growth in such a way that they are able to realise their hidden potential.

So, instead of looking at them as helpless or ignorant beings who need to be chastised and controlled, spiritual treatment calls for accepting them as potential carriers of higher wisdom, pure values, fresh ideas and skills that need to be channelised in the proper direction. Such a growth process is driven from their inner self, gently guided by wisdom and love  rather than a forced development compelled by insecurity, fear and false expectations. Remember, if adolescents are motivated to explore spirituality at their age, they will be equipped with excellent powers to cope with any situation of life as well as to excel in their chosen roles, thereby living a quality life.

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