Sunday, November 11, 2007

high school

It occurs to me that some of the seeds of things that my 16 year old daughter, KT, and I have been talking about are contained in my last post.

This is a note to myself to ponder the following:

How much of what we make of ourselves begins (and ends) in high school and the self image we develop/receive/accept there? Katie and I have been pondering the way that our whole life seems to revolve around the choices--good or bad--that we make when we are at precisely the age--tempest-tossed by hormones, self-doubt, acne and body image issues--when we are most likely to make bad choices.

So that a teen who can't handle this onslaught of forces may get lower grades than her potential, and as a result, be forced to attend a school of lesser quality, and as a result, be less likely to make the contacts and build the resume of more grounded peers, and as a result, have less options, less choices, lower paychecks, lesser partners in business and in love.

Of course, Katie and I, students of Abraham, know that is is how the stream works. You flow in the direction in which you focus your attention. So, at any point in that list of consequences, we can make a turn to follow the flow toward better outcomes. Still, we can't help coming round to the question: Isn't this ridiculous?

I mean, we are in high school for three or four years. Why is it, at least in American life, such a determinate in how we turn out? What happens in the psyche then, what is accessible then that is harder to get hold of later, in our 30s or 40s, say, when we are more aware and better able to make choices that serve our higher potential?

How can awareness of this help Katie? Can it help Max, struggling to find his way at college? Can it help me or my husband, at 50? Can we go back to that time, open that potential back up and use it now, to compel us forward, now that we know what we're doing? Can we use that unused potential now, or has it gone stale? Can we access it like a buried treasure and use it to untangle what we've done wrong?

Is it ever too late?

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