My good friend and I were out at the apartment complex tennis courts batting around a neon green ball or two while his wife led her women’s Bible study group. It was a good game and we were relatively uninterrupted, but the tennis courts are right next to the dumpsters and as we learned near to the time we planned to leave and head back to the house, it was the hang out spot for a group of teenage guys and girls that lived in the area. They brought their skateboards, a couple of what I assumed to be their parents’ cars, loud music, and of course—smoking paraphernalia. They all lit up and passed around what I heard them call a “bunt” and as the grotesque smell wafted over the court, I recognized instantly what it was.
I have never smoked, nor would I ever dream of it, but my mind drifted through memories and traveled back to college days–to my second housing option when I first came to America. I led a very busy life back then and was gone from 6 AM until midnight every day of the week. On late nights that I would come home, I would hear the loud music as I reached the front door–hear the loud voices as I reached the stairs–smell the awful stench of my roommates’ latest smoking invention as I approached the hallway that led past their doorway to my room. It was awful.
There were nine of them. Strangers in my house. Brought by the two brothers from the Dominican Republic that stayed with us on a settlement to lower the rent for each of us. It was a good price, but this wasn’t worth it. After 8 months of holding my breath in the hallway, hearing their foul conversations through my shared wall with their get-togethers, and laying on my floor praying not to get shot through the wall by the “Homeboys” in the room next door, I learned many things about society’s dark side. I learned what drunk people talked about, what weed/pot/various other narcotics smelled like when smoked. I could have been a police officer I knew them all so well. I knew what certain drugs looked like as they offered me a hit as I passed by with no interest down the hall, just wanting to get to the safety of my room. Even though my door wouldn’t lock, I felt safe in the illusion of closed doors and the barriers of walls between me and them.
Back to the group of teenagers, I recognized the smell to be weed. It is a nasty little drug that deteriorates the minds of anyone stupid enough to try it. I have seen it happen. The deterioration of a teenage mind. One of the 9 party animals that I lived with was a smart guy when they moved in and from my observations, had a promising future. But he fell and gave in to what is known as peer pressure and I watched his brain turn to mush. My warnings and attempts to witness to them fell on closed ears and with my life threatened a couple times–I kept my distance and decided that I would share Christ with them by showing them how to live. The seed had been planted, but it is one of which I still don’t know the yielding of its fruits. I pray that they find The Lord, because those guys direly needed it.
This group of teenagers swore up a storm like sailors and bashed each other with phrases I would never dare dream up or repeat, treated the girls like dirt and made vulgar jokes that made me feel uneasy and dirty. It stirred up an anger in me that is very rare. It was not targeted at them–they are just kids and learned this behavior. I was enraged with the real evil and culprit behind their actions. The Media, Society’s Justification of Sin and Darkness!
Out of respect for my fellow teachers, who know that I am Mr. “Just went through these ‘Teen’ years Yesterday” as they put it, I acknowledge the truth that I have probably the least accreditation to talk on the subject of raising or correcting teenagers and appreciate their knowledge and wisdom in the area, but at the same time—
Having been a teenager in the modern Era and surviving Without an addiction to drugs or alcohol, or an illegitimate child with some girl I had the illusion of love with, or lost jobs because of bad habits or a poor attitude or negative/sadistic view on life… I would say that I succeeded in fighting against the malice and destruction that comes from the Technological World and the media.
So what is the purpose of this blog post? You may ask.
To reveal the truth of what is happening to our younger generation and discover why it is happening. To show that the invention of Technology and Media, though vitally important carries a curse. We thought it could help the world and (as we discussed in a previous blog post) bring connection to people, is actually doing the opposite and is destroying those who need solid influences in their lives; Teenagers.
They seek out role models whether they realize it or not, but the media constantly barrages and drowns them with poor influences and mixed moral messages. Jokes have downward spiraled into crude vulgar humor that should have a rating of R, but play out in a family film because it is not sex or violence. This is backwards and shows what the Bible says, that the world is getting worse and Sin. Watch a film from 20 years ago (Like Angels in the Outfield, or Back to the Future, Old Yeller, Swiss Family Robinsons) and though there is still sometimes language and adult content, it is still achieving an effective and unique story while maintaining a lost integrity and moral fiber. Think of the films of today; blockbusters. You search through Netflix or Hulu endlessly trying to find a solid PG-13 film to watch on a Saturday night with your family and find nothing by “R” ratings and violent cover art for films. And since it is Halloween, that must justify us giving in and just watching some gory, graphic, emotionally damaging horror film and say the classic phrase “Well, there was nothing else on!” Because that is what we do isn’t it? And your teenage son or daughter looks up to that and gets sucked straight into the darkness.
Over time, the Media and all of its contributors decided that it was “cool” to degrade women into an object instead of an equal partner in a relationship, treat parents like trash as blatantly demonstrated on Disney Channel, Diminish the importance of school and an education, Obtain some self proclaimed authority and right to have control. And the worst part about it is that “We” are the ones giving this to them and showing them how to give up and give in. We give them what they want because we are afraid to hurt their feelings or be the bad guy and fear being a cause to make them turn against us or have family tension. We are so afraid of them becoming what they are becoming in this day and age that we trap them in a room with the media demon and wonder why they collapse. Think about it!
We have a million and one things going on every day and instead of parenting, we substitute our love for a computer or some device and let them play awful games like Grand Theft Auto, or browse Television stations or Internet sites they shouldn’t just to pass the time and they suck up all of that negative influence.
There is reality and truth to the statement “What goes in WILL eventually come out”. It is like Hurry in our lives in the sense that we are exposed to these open flames of the media at slowly intensifying levels that like a frog, we don’t realize we are being cooked alive until it is too late to jump out.
Don’t let this society destroy today’s teenagers. Don’t substitute what they crave for a mechanical device. Don’t sit back and be inactive and wait for the change to happen. Parenting, as best I can gather from my observations of resources is a continuous pro activity to never give up on pushing a child towards Christ-like standards and give them a positive example to follow instead of conforming to the patterns of the world.
Hopefully this blog post has got you thinking. I do not have answers by any means, but I hope that I can instigate conversations with your family and lead you to pray about the challenges in life that will lead you to discovering answers.
To end this post, Remember…
Do NOT conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.