Friday, August 20, 2010

The Ugly Duckling, the Tortoise, and the Early Bird, Part 2

The Ugly Duckling, the Tortoise, and the Early Bird, Part 2
Preventing HIV & Aids by Preparing & Investing in Your Future Early!

Young people have been trying to be grown as long as I can remember. I think what's so scary nowadays is that there's much excess here in America (as well as any urbanized or metropolitan area of the world's biggest cities). Today's generation and society is way more complicated- and will continue too. This is the fear and the reality that my generation realizes- and some of us fight hard to equip this generation and the next with the skills and abilities to compete and get their equal share of life.

Being sexy for image or popularity sake, sex, love, diseases, and getting pregnant are all adult activities and concerns – or should be. If someone of a youthful age is practicing in those things, usually means they’ve to moved too quickly into something they are not prepared for. Sometimes it can also mean they’ve not figured out who they are yet and what their life’s goals are. Sometimes just being unsure, can open the door to being lead in wrong direction.

Peer groups often socially pressure individuals to conform or adapt to group think. I currently work at a middle school (and have worked with youth for years). At my school I have observed what makes certain students do well and not do well. I came up with four archetypes based on my observations of youth social cliques who are successful in life or in school settings. Basically, my approach is looking at five types of cliques that have healthy self-esteem and goals to succeed and compete through life. Thus being busy and having found purpose they have less time to be sexually active early. All of them require strong self-discipline and focus. The fifth type is a combination of 1-4.

1. the Talented - These kids have been told (by loved ones or themselves that they are good at- ) and or they find their niche, the passion, their talent (what they are good at) early (in life) and stick to it like glue- not allowing anything to distract them or get in their way. They often socialize with like-minded people. Can be sometimes labeled as the 'it' crowd or the 'cool crowd. Everybody wants to be like them; however this group really does work hard at what they do. Academics, sports, hobbies, social groups, etc.

2. the Independent, the Non-Conformist – Although they may be “labeled” as other, an 'outcast', a the rebel, or social misfit; they are just fine in their own skin and aren't in a rush to be 'cool'. As such, they are not pressured to perform or live up to an ideal (beauty, popular, dating expectations, etc.) The key to this individual being positive and or productive is that they may require more self-control and or self-esteem to be able to maintain their inner strength to not be 'normal' or fall in to the 'it' crowd. Underground or alternative cultures are their activity usually.

3. the Traditionalists - He or she waits for the person who is suitable or worthy of him or her and takes their time to explore their sexuality. Unlike the other three types- this person or people have made a inner or personal choice to wait to explore their sexuality. The other three use their activities or outer expression to focus their life. This one has taken a moral obligation to wait.

4. the Loyalist, the Tribe, the clan member - they have strong parents or and or a big family. The family does everything together. Most social activities are family centered. A strong sense of sticking together is valued here. Family business, family goals are clear, etc. Often these are newly immigrated people. The family protects them from negative and or unfamiliar people and influences so that if and when he/she makes a mistake parent or family helps rescue or protect them from further harm or mistake.

5. the Hybrid- this individual or group is a combination of one or more of these choices and personality types. They have qualities of one or more of the above. I would say depending on the age and or maturity that a lot of young people fall in and out of this group all the way into adult life. Because the above four take a lot of will-power and inner-strength; many of us might not have been born talented but have the interest or the passion. . Let's face young people and humans in general are constantly growing and changing.

These are simplified categories or groups, I know, but where I work I see these groups everyday. When you go to a job, there are similar behaviors and types of people there too! Especially when the numbers grow. The bigger the population the more fragmented or cliquish humans can become. And the more you can get lost and want to identify yourself more.

Yes, sex and violence is power and pays. However the younger you get sexually involved and or over emphasis your physical appearance, the easier you can get exploited by someone older, smarter, and wiser. You may get paid and famous; you might stand out- but beauty is not long term. Over emphasis on outward beauty can be expensive and detrimental to your inner beauty. The above four success groups focus on their inner selves first and their outer selves second.

Take care of your body and be careful with whom you share your body. Sharing your body is like sharing your personal information - the more your name, phone number, address, is out there more you are vulnerable to misuse. Same with your mind and spirit.…If you give those away and or share it freely too soon then it says something about your self-identity and your possible lack of future planning.This is why the above four types do so well. Because they seldom have time to worry about that and they are personally invested in what's inside them that makes them special.

The world you have yet to encounter is vast and glorious, yes, and the entertainment industry is there to magnify the sexiest parts of it for profit. It is often the way society glorifies success to young people- this is the illusion. However, having a life plan, you can take in all the world has to offer – protecting yourself along the way!

Hey, protect your mind, body, and spirit, here's some parting tips-

1. Realize your health and inner beauty, your inner well being is not an illusion…and neither is HIV & AIDS!

2. Think about what category you are in, and if none of the above, where you may need additional support in your life..then seek it out!

3. Learn the difference between perception and reality and never compromise your body for the sake of fitting in or being successful.

4. Ask yourself this: If you would not give that “special person” all of your personal banking information, then ask yourself are they “special” enough to give your body to before you have sex?

5. Tap into your inner strength- Know you are stronger than you think!

Love, Luck and Life!

The Life Student

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