Thursday, February 17, 2011

Know Yourself; Love Others

As if being a teen isn't hard enough.  Part of the suffering of being a teen in 2011 is the very high probability that the adults in your life have a fondness for the 1980s.  Singing and, even worse, dancing to music from the 80s is a sure-fire way for a  mom to tease and bother her teen.  Take this #1 song, from 1986 for example (emphasis mine):

 "Greatest Love Of All"
I believe the children are our are future
Teach them well and let them lead the way
Show them all the beauty they possess inside
Give them a sense of pride to make it easier
Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be
Everybody searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone to fulfill my needs A lonely place to be
So I learned to depend on me

I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can't take away my dignity
Because the greatest love of all
Is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all
Inside of me
The greatest love of all
Is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all ....

And if by chance, that special place
That you've been dreaming of
Leads you to a lonely place
Find your strength in love 
The lyrics of this song are more embarrassing and confusing than any mom's good-natured teasing.  Yes, the teen years are about figuring out who you are, your relationship to others, and your place in the world.  Yet the answer isn't to see yourself alone at the center of your experience.  Keep your thoughts simple and true.  Put God and His guidance at your center.  Get to know yourself, both good and not-so-good.  Love others.  Now, that's worth singing and dancing about.

I love you,