ear TWEENAGERS and TEENAGERS, sure you are doing great today.
Permit me to bring to a close our discussion, which began yesterday.
I am still reporting from S.A.F.E™VILLE where your PERSONAL SAFETY and SELF-PROTECTION is our most paramount concern.
I understand your insatiable thirst for adventure. I share in your challenges. I feel your frustration when you feel no one understands you except you.
I know what it means when you see older adults, mum and dad, teachers and others as kill-joy. I understand the frustration you face when there is a clash between the career your parents want for you and the one you want for yourself.
I appreciate the crisis of identity you go through and the battle for independence from home and society. I know the pain you feel when your parents and teachers compare you to your siblings, friends and classmates.
I know the frustration you feel when you have so many questions in your heart in respect of your state of mental and physical development and nobody is willing to listen or aware of your struggles with these questions, not to talk of answering them.
I feel your many struggles to meet up with your peers and answer the questions thrown at you by competition. I understand the pressure you go through from your peers, particularly from the opposite sex. I understand the lures of sexual urge, masturbation, alcohol, drugs, pornography, homosexuality, lesbianism and related issues.
I feel you when you even want to deny the issues you face and give the impression that you are fine or even act as a superhuman.
I feel you when your hearts are broken as a result of a partner, who leaves you after many promises of ‘I love you.’
I feel your quest for success and recognition from society. Honestly, I feel you.
Ronke Adefisayo, who I had the privilege of teaching many years ago in the teenage class of the Fountain of Life Church, Ilupeju, Lagos and who is today a medical doctor recently, wrote to me in one beautiful morning of 2011:
‘Dear Uncle Taiwo, how are you? I sincerely hope you are doing well…I was in the teenage class you taught about 7/8 years ago….Today I had a flash back to some of the lessons I learnt in that class and how I found it amazing that all these years later, I still remember many of the lessons and examples…’
She concluded, ‘I must share some of the things you taught me to never compare ourselves to people, we are uniquely made by God and I remember you even told us that the reason some of us were ashamed of our back grounds etc was because we had compared ourselves to people and thought we were lacking; to respect ourselves; to be committed to God and study the word; you taught us to be honest with our struggles, for example sexual struggles… thank you again for your dedication and effort…’
Please note that as much of you as I know, I do not claim to know all about you.
I do not also come to you on these pages to answer all your questions or address all your issues. My goal here is to share with you some of the principles; I have learnt from you and learnt of you.
I am therefore not here to instruct you but to reason with you on your PERSONAL SAFETY and SELF-PROTECTION, urging you to SHOW UP… STAND OUT and SHOW OFF™ and that the S.A.F.E™VILLE comic will work with you in achieving all of these and more.
Do have an INSPIRED week.
YOURS IN YOUR BEST INTEREST,