I’ve long contended that most people shut down and die sometime between 5th and 8th grade. Those middle school years, in my opinion, are when the pressures to conform are greatest. Hormones are surging and the sorting process that takes place through the mechanism of institutionalized schooling is becoming more apparent.
God forbid you should stand out and be different. Shut up, color in the lines and be on time. Any differences are promptly met with ridicule or a label.
Being an equal opportunity critic…I find the institutional church is just as guilty in its propagating compliance and conformity- only we dress it up with spiritual sounding words like “submission” and “Who’s your covering?”
We are taught to blend in and not rock the boat and then to police others to do the same. (Read: CONTROL.) I’ve conformed and you should too. God forbid I live in my misery alone. What a fantasy! What a recipe for a frustrated life.
This wicked mixture of conformity and the false notion that we can control others leads to death. Death of dreams, passions and our precious God-given individuality. And the greatest tragedy—death to relationships.
Lately, I’ve been listening to some music that is outside my usual genre of country or classical. One song that was popular when I was a kid was Pink Floyd’s “Brick in the Wall” and right now….I’m listening over and over again to Bon Jovi’s “It’s My Life.”
It’s the kind of music that was labeled as rebellious. Or as a believer in later years, “devil” music. (I always joke with Jay about how he loves his devil music.)
I find it a curious study to consider the music that appeals to kids. Granted, I’ve never really enjoyed heavy rock music but if one is open minded enough to read the lyrics, you may find your pulse quickening just a bit as you recall the dreams and emotions of being a kid again and the thrill of looking forward to the open highway of your life.
Children know intuitively that we were created for freedom. And as adults we go through life distracted and busy. I think we’re afraid to slow down long enough to confront the reality that, somewhere along the line, something died. Like a nervous housewife, you can smell the stench but you want someone else to deal with the dead mouse in the trap or simply hope it will just go away. (And get on some powerful anti-stench pills to dull your sense of smell so you don’t notice it as badly.)
To the brave young people that have been labeled and ridiculed in schools….
To the hungry church goers that feel “there must be something more”,,,,
You were created for freedom. And created to be loved. It’s your life.
Filed under: church, church life, Individuality, Labels are for Soup Cans, Personal development, Public schooling, Spirituality | Tagged: "It's My Life, Bon Jovi, Individuality, institutional church, institutional schooling | 1 Comment »