I have worked with young people in the middle and high school stages of life for the past twelve years. I did not think that I would be good at it, but I have discovered that I have more of an aptitude for it than I thought. God knew better.
As an observer of human behavior, I was able to learn a great deal about the youth mind. I did not know these things when I was passing through this particular stage of development. But, now as an adult, I am more keenly aware of some of the hazards that young people face during this transition. I want to address one of these today and see if we can’t learn something ourselves.
Over the years, I have noticed that most youths have a hard time seeing past the immediate situation they are facing. This can create some very serious problems. The biggest of which, in my opinion, is committing to a rash decision. Because a young person does not have enough information, through life experience and education, they are prone to respond emotionally. As a result, these decisions can become more burdensome than was necessary.
The lesson we can take from this is the idea of “caution.” Whenever we rush into decisions; whenever we make decisions emotionally, we run the risk of being careless. Not that we meant to, but that we are unable to reflect and consider the effect of our choices. This is one of the many reasons for teaching and encouraging youth to have caution.
Another way of thinking about this idea of caution is to remind ourselves to slow down. Not every important decision is an urgent one. And not every urgent decision is an emergency. Until we are able to tell the difference between these levels of intensity we will get bent out of shape. I saw this more often than I can count.
As we get closer to Holy Week I would encourage you to be more cautious. Don’t get hurried. Take your time and learn to keep a steady pace. Life is short enough, let’s not speed it up.