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The Rut Less Traveled - Act your heart, not your age

Article Date: 
20 July, 2012 (All day)

These days age just isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.  Many of us can remember when reaching a certain age really did mean we were more responsible, or at least ready to become so.  While thankfully there are organizations and religions still striving to instill values for all ages, unfortunately many in the world only view age as an entitlement to finally be free or legal to do whatever one wants.  For example, many of our youth take age for granted by assuming that turning 18 or 21 is just a rite of passage, albeit a seemingly overdue one, into their long awaited and eagerly anticipated adulthood; never mind the added assumption that maturity and responsibility are supposed to follow.  
There is more to being a responsible adult than turning a certain age.  And it seems that instead of growing up, some would rather open up Pandora’s Box of beguiling bait that has been waiting for them to finally reach that magical age where they can engage in and entertain all the immature and immoral behaviors that they’ve been tempted by and taught to by the media which has been carefully cultivating their carnal cravings since their youth.  And why care about the consequences?  As long as it’s legal and fun why worry if it’s lethal to their health, or their hearts?  Sadly for too many innocence is lost long before common sense even gets a chance.
What can be done to help our youth become more responsible than reckless with their newfound freedoms?  We all want the best for our children and others’ children.  No one wants to see their sons or daughters live a life of loneliness, laziness, transgression or addiction.  Yes, it seems like an insurmountable challenge when even PG-13 movies have adult themes and suggestive material (which basically is the code word for sex) and lots of crude humor and lewd language.  This is what the world thinks is appropriate for 13 year olds?  No wonder kids are growing up so fast and getting into trouble.  And if you’ve watched the news lately you know that even 6-year-old girls believe that it’s better to be ‘sexy’ because they believe that will make them more popular.  
With a world full of such amoral messages, how can our values persevere and virtue be preserved?  Is it too late?  Has the world already won and cannot be challenged?  No, it’s never too late to take back our values and regain our virtue.  We must begin in the home by courageously not contentiously lowering our tolerance for the lower standards the world is waving desperately in front of our children on TV, in the movies, the Internet and music.  This is the question that we have to ask and answer for ourselves and our own families.  Just because the world says we can do something doesn’t mean it’s best for us.  We each have a choice and we need to learn to follow our hearts, but also to be careful what we put into our hearts.  There are many voices and choices out there to hurt our hearts and detour us from our dreams, but we can choose to win, or we can choose to lose.  We may not always be the most popular or most pretty, but those things are petty when it comes to being able to feel good about ourselves.  When you have confidence in your character it doesn’t matter how old you are, or what temptations taunt you, you will be able to make your own choices and be the confident and courageous person you want to be.  Believe in yourself and take charge of your own life.  Don’t leave it to the world, the media, or magazines.  That’s what it’s going to take to not just survive but thrive in today’s world.  Trust your heart.  Keep it full of good things and you will live a life with more happiness and success no matter your age.