The Storms of Adolescence

The transition from Childhood to Adulthood is always messy, the “adolescent storm” as one writer called it. A chunk of time where you are finding out who you are, learning/unlearning a whole bunch of stuff while simultaneously having to deal with hormones, sexuality, tension with bewildered parent(s), relationships, growing like crazy and often feeling tired/moody. That is going to be messy!
One of my favourite quotes is this one, alegedly, from Socrates (but certainly of a similar age):
“Youth today love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority, no respect for older people, and talk nonsense when they should work. Young people do not stand up any longer when adults enter the room. They contradict their parents, talk too much in company, guzzle their food, lay their legs on the table and tyrannize their elders”
There’s also this bizzarre verse from the Bible:
“From there Elishah went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road some youths came out of the town and jeered at him, “Go on up you baldhead!” they said, “Go on up you baldhead!”
Adolescence is nothing new then. The funny thing is I’ve spoken to quite a few people about their teenage years and I have discovered lots of them have forgotten what it was like. They remember the music, where they lived, friends etc but not, it seems, being on top of the world one moment and feeling utterly crushed shortly after, the sense of uncertainty,struggling with self-worth, moments of embarrasment and all that jazz.
I still remember, painfully, what it was like to be a teenager and up until I was 30 I was still having flash backs to any of a numbers of monumentially embarrassing moments. Still, the advantage of spending my adolescense as “Bozo the Wonder Nerd” does give me quite a level of sympathy with all people teenage.
I’m often surprised at the lack of tolerance there is for teenagers, but if people have forgotten/blanked out their adolescent storm, maybe that’s why!
All the more need for Youth work/ministry.

2 Replies to “The Storms of Adolescence”

  1. Oh dear… sorry to disappoint you Ian but Socrates probably DIDN’T say that.
    Have a look at this:
    In fact we haven’t got very much that he did say for certain as we have nothing that he wrote. All we have is what Plato tells us he wrote.
    Unfortunately, in fact, Socrates was accused of corrupting the youth.

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