Brian Cole: Our Children - An Identity Crisis
A couple of weeks ago I went to speak at another school. This time it was all high school students. My main presentation is about drugs/alcohol and how making a couple bad decisions can take you further than you wanna go, and once you get there you no longer have the ability to make decisions because whatever it is now has control over you. I speak on cutting, bullying, decision making, the occult and much more. But my main focus is on identity.
At most schools and other speaking events, I use a geode as an illustration. I tell them that the ugly outer part is all the “stuff” we hear from other people: your fat, your ugly, you’re a druggie, your stupid, you’ll never amount to anything… and much more. Weather we hear this from our parents, other students, teachers, or whomever; we hear it so much that we have a tendency to allow it to define who we are. We forget that the inside of the geode is our real selves, the self that God has created in His own image. We are ALL image bearers of God! We are “fearfully and wonderfully made, we are masterpieces, we were adopted by Him! (I love the picture of adoption because it says that He wants what others have rejected)! You are unique for a reason, and more valuable that you will ever know. So valuable, that He sent His Son to die for you! Yes, you!!
There are only 3 reason people bully: 1. They are going through something themselves and this is their way of dealing with it. 2. They are trying to impress others. 3. They think this is a way of making themselves appear better than you, but most likely they are jealous of you! But I remind them that NO MATTER who you are, what “click” you hang with and what you do, people are gonna have bad things to say about you, so you might as well just be who you are.
I ask the students what it might be like if they are actually “excited” to go to school every day?! Funny, right? But seriously, the teachers, principal and school boards don’t set the tone in the schools, the students do! What if, instead of dreading school because of all the drama and negativity, that instead you guys start lifting one another up and edifying one another. Sticking up for people when you see someone messing with them and the edifying that person. Yelling at each other down the hallways about how awesome they are and how happy you are to see them… May sound funny, but it is very easy to do. Then going to school would be something ya look forward to, regardless of the work you have to do. The students set the tone, and it only takes a few to make these changes.
Well, a couple days after I spoke at this last school I received an email from the school counselor with a bunch of pictures. They showed sticky notes all over people’s lockers, down the hallways, and all over the cafeteria wall. She said the students were also handing these post it notes to each other. On these post- it notes were the following: “You are a masterpiece.” “You are a great friend.” “You are fearfully and wonderfully made.” “You are awesome.” “I’m sorry.” And much more.
No one told these kids to do that, they did this all on their own. If a knucklehead like myself can go into a school one day for an hour and have an impact like this on our kids, imagine what it would be like if the kids were told this kinda stuff on a daily basis while in school.
At one time they were. At one time there was the pledge of allegiance, prayer, and Christian teaching going on in the schools, but now we teach them there is no God, or many Gods. And even if you believe in one it doesn’t matter, there are many others, and the main thing is that you respect their belief even over your own. They can’t have purpose when they are being taught they come from pond scum and there really is no purpose to life. It’s just what you make it. There is no dignity, respect (other than respect for other’s lifestyles), honor or brotherhood anymore because, in reality, these are all biblical concepts and mean nothing without the Lord involved.
No wonder why our schools have become battle zones, and, as long as we keep these principals out of the schools, it will only get worse. These kids spend most of their time in schools, and what they learn there, from teachers and each other, is what is going to influence them most in life. What is your child being taught? I guess the question that should be asked is: What are YOU teaching your children?