We all need guidance in our lives to learn faster, make less mistakes, and develop confidence. If we don’t have wise, loving parents, it becomes tough to compete with those that do. Sometimes we have substitutes for bad or missing parents, but not near enough to solve the problems of our troubled youth. It only takes few geniuses and entrepreneurs to make our lives easier. But it takes a large majority of us to make our society better.
It seems that when adolescents don’t become successful adults, the major reasons are due to opposite extremes. Life has either been too easy for them or life has been too hard. Sometimes life is hard for young people and they look for the easy way out. Up until the last few decades, life has been survival of the fittest. The weak of mind and/or body should always be helped, but the weak-willed or poorly mentored have little positive influence on society. Yet we help the weak-willed to survive without being fit (socially), and we don't help those that need mentoring enough. The social burden grows and this puts our future as a country in danger!
Challenge is like a chisel that defines an accomplished human being. Without challenges we are without accomplishment and, therefore, without self-respect. Growing up without good parents is not a challenge, it’s an obstacle. A challenge makes one grow whereas an obstacle prevents one from growing. Adolescents that have had it too easy often need to be challenged to improve - and rarely are. Adolescents, whose life has been difficult need encouragement - and don't know where to find it.
Beginning in the 20th Century, our government started taking over when families fail. The government does not do this well. The government removes many obstacles, but is lacking in presenting challenges and providing encouragement. This last article from “The Father Factor” series discusses placing young men in an environment where they can prosper, meeting reachable challenges. “During this stage of life, young people crave feelings of usefulness, responsibility and respect, and they long to be part of the adult world.” It’s a way to remove obstacles, introduce challenges, and to be very encouraging! This is the type of program that will bear fruit - like watering an apple tree!
Click on The Deseret News article below: