Some of the angriest people I know are teens and young adults who have not been allowed to discover or develop their talents.. They are smothered, strangled and cut off from the very breath of life and passion.
They are like someone who has their head pushed under the water in a pool. They may submit at first, thinking it is a game and you are just playing. After a few seconds, they start pushing up and against what is holding him down. Eventually, fear and desperation kick in, and their arms and legs begin to fight and flail around.
Talent is powerful and must find expression. It has a power that if not channeled will leave one disappointed and angry at Life!
Parents (managers) hovered over and watched them so closely, they seldom, if ever, have the opportunity to do anything but what their parents allow. These types of parents even have a name, “helicopter parents.”
The problem is that not only are these teens denied the opportunity to discover their Talents, but they are not even allowed to fail. Every problem is covered, hidden or litigated. These teens have no demonstrated successes of their own to be proud of. They have no demonstrated pathway to succeed.
One of the greatest books on parenting and culture is called A Nation of Wimps by Hara Estroff Marano. Marano talks about how we have protected and coddled the strength and growth out of so many young people and how it has resulted in their becoming aimless and weak.
- Parents hover over their children and never let them fall and build the strengths that come from picking themselves up.
- Children are seldom challenged to find their own ways to solve problems.
They are stopped from exploring.
- When they do something wrong, parents protect them from “bad teachers” or others who don’t see how fragile and precious they are.
- These children never learn right from wrong. Their parents exempt them from natural consequences, so they experience no pain.
- Even when teens go to college, these parents follow them.
They hire lawyers to file lawsuits if their lazy progeny get grades that accurately reflect their efforts and objective scores on tests.
- These parents even spend weeks living in dormitories or hotels that are in close proximity so as to help with the anxieties that they have produced in their weak and fragile children.
- They smother the very Life out of them
I have seen rage that is extreme: teens who carve up brand new kitchen cabinets with a hunting knife; one who took a baseball bat to things he knew his parents greatly valued; the violence and attempts to embarrass have no bounds.
When I talk to these teens and young adults, I see in them a desperation about Life. They fear almost everything because they are unsure of their own abilities and Talents. They don’t know what they can do; they are human jellyfish.
I also see many of these teens run to alcohol and drugs as the only way they can relate and connect. They have never been allowed to connect based on their own competency and demonstration of what they do well.
For many teens and college students, the way to connect and feel part of a group is drinking and drugs. Their social connections and gatherings are centered on substances that allow them to be less inhibited and anxious, and ultimately they can become part of a group without demonstrating any social skills whatsoever. They will do almost anything to belong.
I see their rage and desperation, and my job then begins as I attempt to help them discover their Talent DNA and do whatever I can to have their parents pull back on one hand and on the other provide opportunities for them.
This anger is not limited to teens and young adults. It is also felt by adults who are in careers and jobs they know do not reflect their Talent DNA; college students who are in majors that their parents demanded they enroll in; and successful people who are controlled by mortgages, families, and futures and who are held captive to visions of money and status, but not Talent and character.
I have met so many people and seen so many lives demonstrating a low-grade anger at and depression about life. They live “lives of quiet desperation,” and all those around them—their spouses, children, friends, work associates—know and experience their misery.
Share this article with friends if you see someone gasping for breath – they need air.