They say: “You can’t do anything your friends don’t approve of.”
They say: “It matters what brand of clothing you wear.”
They say: “Unconventional life choices will lead to ruin.”
They say: “If you don’t make the ‘right’ choices to begin with, you’re screwed, ’cause you can’t go back and change them.”
They say: “Keep your faith to yourself.”
I answer that: Look, you don’t have to stand on a street corner waving a sign, but if you hold a belief (or don’t hold one), why should you be shy about it? Religion and spirituality are intriguing topics for conversation and both inspire and answer burning questions. There’s a time and a place (i.e., don’t ask your Catholic co-worker her opinions on birth control during a staff lunch), but as twenty-somethings we should not be restrained by narrow-minded societal “rules.” Explore the unseen.
They say: “You’d better graduate with honors from frickin’ Harvard because your worth is the sum of your degree and GPA.”
They say: “Asking for help or allowing people to see that you’re not perfect means you’re weak.”
They say: “When it comes to people there are no gray areas. Ever.”
They say: “The way ‘we’ do things is the best way.”
I answer that: Ever feel like you’ll be shunned if you openly question (or even just instigate discussion of) a group’s practices? It could be your family, workplace, or church, but inquisitiveness is typically squelched with “That’s just not how we do things” or “Because I said so.” For some reason this narrow-minded approach to life seems to thrive even through adulthood. As the “next generation” we have the ability to abolish the “ours is the best way” rule.