"Have courage. Go forth. Make noise...Go forward. There will be people who will say things to you
to slow you down, to block your path. Please, go against the current...Go against the current: and this means making noise. Go forward, remaining true to the values of beauty, goodness and truth.”
Pope Francis made an excellent point when talking to 500 young people in Italy. For the full report, click here.
The overall message that our wonderful Pope is stating is "Go against the norm." In today's society, most of the "norm" goes against our religion and our morals in general. Sex before marriage, abortion, drugs... the list goes on and on. But most young people today have a comeback, "But everyone else is doing it!" Yes, everyone else is doing it. But that doesn't mean you have to. Go against the tide, be different. You will inspire others to come to the "light side". For all you Star Wars geeks out there, there is that memorable moment in the series where Darth Vader asks his son, Luke Skywalker to join the Dark side. He tempts him with glory and power, but Luke stands strong and keeps to his side. And hey! Luke made the right decision. Spoilers ahead if you haven't finished the series... He eventually defeated his father and his father repented. Let's be Luke Skywalkers' of the world and help the others who hide behind the darkness and hidden promises, and bring them to the light.
I was watching a TV program one time that had to do with mimes. There was a group of kids who were interviewing them. The mimes had them do an exercise where one of the kids started doing some crazy action such as waving his hands in the air like a mad man. The others looked at him very weird, like any normal person would in real life. The mimes told them to imagine they were in a park, and this "mad man" started doing an action. Slowly, the others started following this boy until there was only one person left. Eventually, that one person joined the other group. Now think about this. At first, everyone else thought that the "mad man" was weird and they didn't want to join him because he was the only one doing it and they didn't want to draw attention to themselves. They didn't want to be "out of the norm." Then when everyone else started doing the action, that one person suddenly had all the attention, even though he thought he was doing the "right" thing!
Imagine if we could change the world like that. If one person starts it, others will catch on and eventually, others will notice! That exercise shows that if one person goes against the tide, others will catch on. Something that encourages us to swim with the rest of the generation is peer pressure. Peer pressure happens to the best of us, and it takes an open heart and mind to realize that people are pressuring you. Have you ever caught yourself agreeing with someone else's' opinions just because you didn't want to be different?
I was talking with my friend about 6 months ago about Les Miserables, a pretty new movie at that time. (It really is great, I highly recommended it). Since we are both theatre geeks, we both understand that the movie cast could never, ever reach the quality of Broadway. :) I did like the movie cast however, and my friend... not so much. I kind of found myself siding along with her opinions and then I thought Wait..
what are you doing? It has been my objective in the past month to stop and think before I change my
opinions based on what other people said. And it's not like my friend was trying to make me change, it was just me.
I think the reason we all side along with other people is because we don't want to be that odd one out. We don't want people to look at us weird and judge us based on our choices. But you know what? I would rather someone look at me weird then me change my opinions just because of peer pressure.
No matter what society, your friends, or temptation says, the right way will always be common sense. Like my religion teacher said, "right is always right and will never change under pressure." It will never change, never bend, never break. You just need the courage to go the right way, against the current. Pray to God to let you have an open mind and strong heart to let you take a stand, no matter how big or small.
So I challenge you, teenagers of today, the next generation, to go against the current, be different! Inspire others and get out of your comfort zone. Soon, you will realize that being different, is being better.
All through Christ,
'Fire of the Spirit' Teen blog is run by Henry B. To find more information about this blog, go here