Friday, August 30, 2013

Pride: We as One

I retweeted a tweet yesterday and got a question back.

I didn't think I could answer it in 140 characters, so I decided to blog about it.

When I collectively look at the youth of today, at least in my area, I see the brightest, smartest, most creative, most technologically advanced youth of all time. But through all of this, I also see so much self-indulgence. I see kids wearing the Nike and Under Armour shirts with sayings that basically say, "Bow Down and Worship Me. I Am the Best Thing This World has Ever Seen."

Some self-pride is good. It's needed. It builds confidence. Strengthens individuals. But. (you knew there was going to be a but.) Too much confidence leads to a feeling of awesomeness in which you can never do anything wrong. This includes things as simple as tripping and falling and as elaborate as failing out of a university. What I fear in all of this is the very moment when these students do make a mistake. If you see yourself as superhuman and then that moment happens when you find out that your flesh bleeds just like the rest of us, it's going to be a hard fall. When those mistakes happen, are the kids of today going to be able to get up and try again, or are they going to sulk in their own self-pity because the world owes them something because they are "all that?" Do they understand that mistakes are a part of life? That building something worthwhile takes time, commitment , and sacrifice?

Back to the original question that Alan asked- How to fight self-pride and independence in schools because @PastorMark said that Satan's primary motive is pride. I agree that Satan's number one goal is for us to think of ourselves as best, while shrinking Jesus to less and less. That's true in schools and out of schools. In offices. In factories. Everywhere. Satan wants us to put ourselves as high as we can. I had a conversation with a girl in one of my classes about Instagram. She said that her main goal was to have as many followers as possible. I didn't get the chance to ask her why. I'll put that on my to-do list. I'm interested in hearing her answer.

So, how do we combat that? We create independence with boundaries with help from mentors, more than likely adults, who shape lives.  I say adults because adults have a "big picture perspective." Their views encompass more. Mentors who know that life has ups. More importantly, that life has downs. Everything isn't honky-dory every fleeting moment of every day.  Mentors that show the youth how to get up from that hardship. To press on.  That hard work is still virtuous. That going on a reality show, winning, and making a million bucks is not hardly, even remotely, likely. At all. That humility is what drives relationships. Leaders need to create cultures of collaboration while celebrating the strengths of individuals and showing and modeling how those individual strengths propel ALL of us along. That no matter what, we are all connected. That WE is more important than Me. WE need to share our lives with others so that we hold each other up. Be a servant leader. Serve others. Be humble. Model all of these things. Turn selfish into selfless. We as One. 


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