Quarantine Crossroads: Tip #71

How to Survive and Thrive in Times of Scarcity

This Coronavirus pandemic has hit us in ways we never imagined possible in today’s modern world, making us rethink what life is supposed to be all about. While countless suffer in heartbreaking ways, many of us would benefit by using this time to reevaluate our lives. For is it not life’s grand events that serve as the catalyst for major change?

I cannot think of a better time to reexamine our lives than this current quarantine predicament. Instead of worrying and feeling sorry for ourselves, what a great opportunity for reflection…and change. It seems we have all hit a crossroads in our life at the exact same time. What a wonderful launching point for some of the big life changes that we’ve known for years we need to make.

In that spirit, I share some of the most applicable Life Tips from my first book. I truly hope these tips will provoke you to change.

Life Tip #71: Show young people life beyond their current circumstances.

One of my greatest heartbreaks is the continuous news about suicides, particularly by teenagers. Nothing is so sad as to hear of young people who believe that there is no way out of their predicament, so much so that taking their own life looks like the best alternative.

I’ve only shared this with my wife and kids to this point, but the thought of suicide once momentarily passed through my own head during my sophomore year of high school. It was very brief, thankfully, but it did cross my mind. Sophomore year was certainly the roughest year for me. There is just something very scary about that age of sixteen. For me, that year included being kicked off my high school cross country team, being stuck in a group of loser druggie friends, and the ultimate of ultimate insults: A brand new girlfriend broke up with me.

While my thoughts of suicide were very brief, many teens are not so lucky. They follow through with the suicide for similar problems. The harmful factors of cell phones and social media are certainly key in the rise of today’s suicide rates. Between online bullying and constantly comparing themselves to others, these two realities are killing our kids. Literally.

I think one of the main ways that we can cut down the suicide rates is to instill in kids the absolute truth that the little universe they live in right now—no matter how bad it is—is very temporary, and they have a whole world of opportunity waiting for them down the road.

The human brain at the ages of fourteen through seventeen is still literally developing to full maturity. I’ve read that most scientists agree that the human brain is not fully developed until at least the age of twenty, and more realistically not until the mid-twenties. My immature brain during sophomore year of high school could never have imagined all the great things I would achieve and experience in my life: travel around the world, awesome experiences, a great wife and two beautiful children, and many wonderful relationships developed over the years.

The key is to show young people the possibilities for their life beyond their current circumstances. The problem is that kids get so locked into that universe of high school and social media that everything else—including their futures—becomes an unrealistic non-factor.

Let’s change their thinking on this.

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