Articles elephant_of_india

Published on August 19th, 2005 | by Alex and Brett Harris

Myth of Adolescence (Part 1)





The trained elephant of India is a perfect picture of the power of psychological captivity.

Tamed and utilized for its enormous strength, the great beast stands nearly 10 feet tall and weighs up to 5 tons when fully grown.

Its tasks may include uprooting full-grown trees, hauling great boulders, and carrying enormous loads on its shoulders.

And yet, when the day’s work is done and this powerful beast must be kept from wandering off during the night, its owner simply takes a piece of twine, attaches it to a small branch embedded in the ground, and ties it around the elephant’s right hind leg.

Reason dictates that the elephant can easily snap the twine or pull the twig from ground, and yet the owner does not worry, fully confident that when morning comes he will find the animal exactly where he left him. And he does.

I’ll admit that upon first hearing of this practice, I couldn’t decide which was harder to believe: that the owner was confident, or that his confidence proved justified.

A beast that can uproot trees is suddenly unable to pull up a twig? What is it about the piece of twine and the small branch that allows them to subdue all of the elephant’s power?

I soon discovered that it had little to do with the twine around the elephant’s ankle, and everything to do with invisible shackles around its mind.

My contention is simple: The young adults of our generation are the elephant.

Our twine is the 20th century concept of adolescence.

Our twig is societal expectations.

We stand restrained as a hurting world burns around us. Yet our twine and twig are of a recent origin.

Young adults of the past were not so encumbered.

David Farragut, the U.S. Navy’s first admiral, became a midshipman on the warship Essex at the age of 10.

At the age of 12, a mere boy by modern standards, Farragut was given command of his first ship, sailing a capture vessel, crew, and prisoners, back to the U.S. after a successful battle.

Young David was given responsibility at an early age, and he rose to the occasion.

The father of our country, George Washington, though never thought to be particularly bright by his peers, began to master geometry, trigonometry, and surveying when he would have been a 5th or 6th grader in our day and ceased his formal education at 14 years of age.

At the age of 16 he was named official surveyor for Culpepper County, Virginia.

For the next three years, Washington earned nearly $100,000 a year (in modern purchasing power).

By the age of 21, he had leveraged his knowledge of the surrounding land, along with his income, to acquire 2,300 acres of prime Virginian land.

These examples astound us in our day and age, but this is because we view life through an extra social category called ‘adolescence’, a category that would have been completely foreign to men and women just 100 years ago.

Prior to the late 1800s there were only 3 categories of age: childhood, adulthood, and old age.

It was only with the coming of the early labor movement with its progressive child labor laws, coupled with new compulsory schooling laws, that a new category, called adolescence, was invented.

Coined by G. Stanley Hall, who is often considered the father of American psychology, ‘adolescence’ identified the artificial zone between childhood and adulthood when young people ceased to be children, but were no longer permitted by law to assume the normal responsibilities of adulthood, such as entering into a trade or finding gainful employment.

Consequently, marriage and family had to be delayed as well, and so we invented ‘the teenager’, an unfortunate creature who had all the yearnings and capabilities of an adult, but none of the freedoms or responsibilities.

Teenage life became a 4-year sentence of continuing primary education and relative idleness known as ‘high school’ (four years of schooling which would later be repeated in the first two years of college).

Abolished by law were the young Farraguts and young Washingtons, who couldn’t spare the time to be children any longer than necessary. Cultivated instead was the culture we know today, where young people are allowed, encouraged, and even forced to remain quasi-children for much longer than necessary.

The effect of this seismic shift in America’s philosophy of education is not limited to students in the public schools.

As homeschoolers we may feel as though we have escaped the danger, but an honest evaluation proves that, as a whole, we also fall short of realizing our potential.

After reading the examples of great men of our country’s past, we should recognize that there is no reason why a 13 to 18 year old cannot behave as a responsible adult.

History proves it is possible.

Diverse cultures confirm its validity.

The only thing holding young people back in America today is the twine of this perpetual recess called adolescence and the twig of lowered social expectations.

We expect immaturity and irresponsibility, from ourselves and from one another, and that is exactly what we get.

[Go to Part Two…]






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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.



  • Andrew Joyce

    Luv it!!!!

    Andrew Joyce
    MK in Brazil

  • Terrific post, Alex. I hope you may be able to encourage a few of your peers to snap the twine.

    I have always been grateful for the times when, during my youth, I had opportunities (and took them) to foray into the adult world. At twelve I needed cash for a bike trip, so I started a pizza business. The bike trip itself was dangerous enough now that I look back on it; we rode the roads without helmets, sometimes sharing the thoroughfares with 18 wheelers.

    Somewhere around that age I took a job watching the dog which belonged to some friends of our family. I spent hours wandering through the frozen woods with that bloodthirsty brute (he would attack almost anyone, and even bit my brother). One day I fell through a shelf of ice into Lake Michigan, hauled myself out with great effort, slogged home drenched from the waist down, dragged the dog out of yet another dogfight, and let myself into our friends’ empty house to haul off my boots and pick the ice from my pants and socks.

    If this seems like a thirty-something fellow has lapsed into reminiscing or even bragging, its because I have. But that is my point. I am proud of moments like those. I cannot get more of them now, and I wish there had been even more of them.

    Now I have a ten year old son, and everyday I watch him, hoping for him to have a life built upon defining moments where courage comes to exist where none was before. Youth is an amazing time.

  • Stan Pace

    Dear Alex,
    I’m writing an article for our church on the issue of adolescence. I’m curious as to where you learned your critical perspective. Could you put me on to some good books/articles on the subject?

    gratefully,
    Rev. Stan Pace,
    Lafayette, LA

  • sarah

    This was the first article of this blog that I read. Coming back to it, I see why I was so impressed. Your writings are so fun to read, yet I learn so much at the same time. Thanks for sharing your talent!

    Sarah

  • B. Allan Ross

    Enjoying my first read of your writings. Had to wonder, though, why you didn’t include (here) the relative ages of Washington, and the others who stepped up at a young age to do the work of an adult. What were the life spans during each of their lifetimes? Can you come up with such a number? I’d much rather know how old they were in today’s years, as it seems more pertinent to your editorial than how much Washington earned in today’s dollars. Off to Part 2.

  • Tad

    Great post. I had similar thoughts back when I was in school and chomping at the bit to do more than someone my age was allowed to do. Now that my oldest is 8 I want to give him as much opportunity as he shows himself capable of handling.

    Allan above mentions Washington’s relative age. I was wondering the same thing myself but determined that the answer would have marginal usefulness. Thinking in those terms can artificially hold us back. We could die tomorrow or live another 50 years, the same view Washington had without our 20/20 hindsight. We should make the most of each day. And if we have a longer life then we will be able to accomplish even more than he did.

  • Erin

    You write beautifully. And I believe you actually believe what you are saying. I’m having trouble with the leaders of our country who use people like you and their faith, to gain power, and then destroy all that is God’s creation. Namely, Bush, Rove, Wolfowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al. So what is your sector’s excuse for bringing us such hell-bent-leaders? Just curious.

  • Great post…something so many teenagers need to hear! Keep up the work you’re doing.
    God Bless

  • Melissa

    This article reminds me of something that my dad says…
    All around the world, people our age are married and have kids. We are prepared mentally, physically, and spiritually to be adults running a family. That’s one reason we struggle the way we do with boy-girl stuff.

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  • Paula

    Wonderful article! When I married at seventeen not because I had to but because I wanted to, I received little encouragement from others. But elderly people were the exception. They were so happy for me and knew my husband and I would make a success even though we were young. My father taught all of his children well. We drove tractors at “young” ages, fed out our own steers so that we would have a savings account, milked our cow, kept chickens for eggs, etc… I cared for our foster children while still a child myself and reaped the great benefit of knowing how to care for children. My mom taught me how to cook and I very proudly serve my first dinner at twelve. We were also taught to love the Lord and serve him. Dad never really had any teenagers, nor the typical rebellion, he treated us as adults and we responded positively!

  • Cristina

    It is a very well written article, but I do not fully agree. Just because children are capable of handling huge responsibilities does not mean they should. We are fortunate to live in a country where a child does not need to work at a young age. There are many countries where children are forced to work to earn money for their families.
    Should we not instread give our children beautiful childhoods?

  • allie

    whether your high school years are spent in “relative idleness” depends largely on the individual. in fact, mine were incredibly busy- between academics, music, sports, etc., I scarcely had a second to myself. some of that was due to self-motivation, but parental encouragement played a large part as well. if I’d spent every afternoon sitting in front of the tv, I’m sure they would’ve made me get a job.

    I do agree that if you expect immaturity, laziness, and rebellion out of your teenagers, it eventually becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. but if you expect them to know how and with whom they want to spend their lives before they even turn 18, you’re ignoring the degree to which people change in their late teens and early 20s. for example, the thought of being married to my high school boyfriend and working as a physics teacher (my teenage career choice) is … unappealing, to say the least.

  • Mrs. Bartlett

    Allie, I concur that the years of high school can be spent in relative idleness…but I agree for reasons you don’t.

    I was afforded the opportunity to bypass my last two years of high school, and go to college instead, full-time, with the “adults.” I immediately noticed two things: one, that I had not missed anything by skipping high school; and two, that at 15, it appeared I was infinitely more mature than my “adult” counterparts.

    Unlike my fellow co-eds, I was not remotely tempted by alcohol, dating, or late-night foolishness. I knew that those things would interfere with my education. When I did allow myself a boyfriend, I looked at him as a potential husband, not a “cute boy” with whom it was fun to “hang out.” (I didn’t wind up marrying him after all, but it was because of major worldview differences that I had missed.)

    Had I remained in high school, rather than joining the “adults,” I would have been idle for two years. I was a klutz (ruling out sports), I wasn’t attractive (ruling out student government), and my taste in music prevented me from joining either the school band or student bands (I play classical piano, although not well enough to perform at Carnegie, and I despised rock music). I was completely unchallenged academically and at a loss for other activities–and prevented from working any kind of job because I was 15.

    Alex is correct; we underestimate the “adolescent,” and then we give him more games to play at instead of letting him excel (all the things you mentioned). We need to recognize adulthood when it happens–not at some arbitrary number set by a bunch of legislators who don’t know the person.

  • Anne

    Too bad that we have labor laws today. Nothing like getting a 10 year old out of the house and on their own. Sure would beat having to feed, clothe, provide medical care, etc. for all these “slackers” and “freeloaders” known as teenagers.
    I am married to a military officer, and a mother of an 11 and 12 year old. We wouldn’t have a problem meeting recruiting numbers if we started letting 10 year olds on up to join the military and go die in Afghaninstan and Iraq.

  • Shanna

    While I agree with portions of this essay, I have a few things to add. First, a young women can be damaged by premature sexual activity and too-early child-bearing. Having a child at 15 may have been okay when you would probably be dead by your 30s, but today I’m not sure that young women are ready for marriage & motherhood so early. Young men may be physically ready to marry at 17, but their bride (who is probably younger) may not be. No offense, but farmers know better than to breed a female animal too young, although the animal may be emotionally “ready” to breed (our female goats would love to breed at four months of age, but they aren’t ready.) Low birth-weights, stunted growth for the mother, and difficult births are the result. Humans are no different.

    Also, the author commented rightly that young men in their late teens and early 20s once had more responsibility. He’s right- many teenagers have ruled nations. But I’ve also heard a history professor make the comment that some wars in Ancient/Medieval/Renaissance times were started by hot-headed young rulers who lacked the “discretion” of maturity. While we should expect that our young people be mature, we have to remember that some of them (there are exceptions) simply don’t have the experience to make some of the more difficult choices. In addition, many young people today lack the strong family ties and access to more mature counsel that their ancestors had. Yes, my grandmother married at 15, but she and my grandfather lived with his parents for several years. The older generation provided not only food. clothing and shelter, but training in the very real homemaking and farming skills that the two young people still needed. Also, there were strong cultural and social pressures for the two to stay married and care for their children; today young married couples are surrounded by friends and counselors telling them to split up, find someone better, put the kids in daycare, etc. Things have changed in the past 50-100 years, and I’m not sure we can recreate the social atmosphere even of half a century ago.

  • Rick Rurple

    While you cite many fine examples of young men achieving at a very young age, an important thing to consider is that there are only a handful of such prodigies in world history. Perhaps this tells you something about the nature of the age? This transitionary period is an important way for many teens to gradually settle into their adult niche, rather than forcing developing minds (science has shown us that the human brain does not stop maturing until age 25) to have a 180 degree paradigm shift without a clutch.

    As the above poster has said, discretion is one of the most important aspects of maturation (a 25 year old wouldn’t have cut down his father’s cherry tree….). The preceived spriritual atrophy that you are so vehemently opposed to in our society is a result of the bourgening awareness that happens during adolescence. Morality, as most original-sin believers would contend, is not implicit in human behavior: it has to be learned.

    If you fundamentalist christians truly believe that God “has a purpose” for everything in His creation, than wouldn’t it seem that he also has a “plan” for adolesence?

  • Rick: I appreciate the feedback. Of course I agree that God has a plan for the “adolescent” years. In fact, were you to continue reading, I’m confident that you would find that conviction at the center of almost everything my written here. Our difference, I believe, is based on what we believe that plan and purpose to be. I believe the teen years are intended to be the launching pad of life—a time to train, to focus, and to mature.

    Likewise, I wholeheartedly agree that maturity (in brain function, as well as character) is not completed during the teen years. I understand that. In fact, I believe that growth in maturity should extend far beyond the age of 25. Our difference, I believe, is how early we believe that growth should begin, and how soon it can be expected to show itself. I believe, based on personal experience (not just historical study), that teenagers can be significantly more mature and responsible—and at a younger age—than society expects.

    Finally, you mention that my examples represent only a small handful of prodigies. I respectfully disagree. Even today there are thousands of examples of young people who have demonstrated high levels of maturity and responsibility during their teen years. What they have in common is not a prodigious IQ. Instead you will find a combination of two things: 1.) A strong desire to leave a mark on this world during their lifetime, and 2.) The conviction that the time to begin is now, not later.

  • Charlene V.

    Powerful blog. Keep up the good work.:)

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  • Brandon

    i would strongly agree that teens are not allowed in this culture to activly pursue their dreams and goals, but i also know, now that i’m aproaching my 21st birthday that i was far less capable of making those decisions when i was 18, 17, and 16, and would even go so far as to say i was making stupid decisions. i even see in my younger friends the same “stupidity” in decision making and am still astounded by some of the dumber choices the younger people around me make. as such i’m glad i waited till i was 18 before getting my drivers license since i also observed the extream insanity of the young people around me in that class room, all of whom where 2 years younger than myself

    i think your mistake in reasoning is that those two individuals listed are extream exceptions and by no means the average. Einstein, and Edison achieved far more in their life than most others of their time did, yet you wouldn’t hold all young people to their standard, it would be absurd

    what you have pointed out is that genious can be spotted at an early age but most do not exibit said genious, and others it is not fully expressed until later in life

    the teenage mind is not capable of rational thaught until 18 years of age on average, do to the fact that the cerebral cortex un-wires, and then re-wires itself in preperation for adult life, so your statement is true: teens have all the desires of adults, but they are mentaly incapable of making the proper decisions, culture simply exagerates it, as it does exagerate feminine and masculine personality differences

  • Headstrong

    PFFFT! HAHAHAHAHA! Do you have any idea how ridiculous that sounds? A thirteen year old act like a “responsible adult”? My gosh, don’t rush people to grow up anymore than they already are. Growing up does not happen that fast, it takes time. That’s putting to much pressure on them. Adolescence is not a myth. There are changes and hormonal occurances during that stage. I’m not saying it would justify things like murder, but it is something that must be considered in terms of maturity and responsibility. I have to agree with Brandon. It’s ridiculous to expect all adolescents to live up to the standards of the the very rare and gifted.

  • r

    Trigonometry at 11 is not so hard! Maybe this explains why the U.S. falls behind almost all other developed countries in the quality of primary math and science education.

    I agree that it would have been very nice to skip out of high school and have the fuller responsibilities of college earlier. I considered it, especially early in high school when colleges emphasizing that they would take younger applicants started sending mail based on my test scores. Intellectually and personally, I felt restrained and suffocated by high school, so you hit the nail right on the head. I ultimately decided to complete high school because I thought it would improve my chances for application at a top college, a place where I would be happier in the long run. I took a few more years in a cramped environment designed for “adolescents,” and now I’m finally at Harvard being an adult.

    It’s not so simple to get around the adolescent environment in today’s society, at least in terms of education. More years of formal education are simply needed to secure a good job. You don’t need some trigonometry and an apprenticeship to command a $100k salary, you need a degree in engineering. In Washington’s time, education was less accessible to all but the very privileged (and I think it’s an improvement that education is now accessible to more people). Similarly, it would be harder for a 13-year-old to get into Harvard now. Admissions didn’t really become competitive until after the 1950’s. Before then, it was all about the applicant’s family’s social network, and Harvard was regularly used as a babysitter/finishing school for the children of the very wealthy, even those under normal college age.

  • Hi,
    I’m not a member of the Rebelution(I’ve tried, but it seems that you aren’t allowing new members right now). I am homeschooled, but I am taking and English class @ my local community college. I am writing a research paper, and I think I’m going to right about what this website is alout about: the low expectations of youth and how adolescence is a myth. However, I need a few more sources than this website. Does anybody have any? They need to be sources that you could find in places other than the internet as I can only use one internet source (which would be this website).

  • Dan

    Great essay and points well-taken. Have you read “The Case Against Adolescence” yet? It just came out. It makes many of the same points.

    Brandon – the “teen brain” theory is completely fallacious. Adolescence is a social construct. Expect stupid and you get stupid.

  • Ruth

    Ok, I think that I understand why everyone keeps telling me that I act too old for my age. Great blog!

  • Lizzi

    I think that was awsome that an Elephant whould not be able to escape:)

  • beebee

    go on with your baaaaad self!!!!!!

    loved it, i don’t neccessarily agree with all of everything, but your points were very valid. houston….we’ve got a problem……i have said to my younger siblings(repeatedly)i mean over and over, “there is no such thing as a TEENAGER” i believe you know what i mean.
    anyone who thinks its a bad idea to have an early marriage, children at a young age i must say, children are a blessing and a gift, i wouldn’t want it any other way. if one choooooses not to have them,WHATEVER, LIKE, TOTALLY…..sure you have your life, i have mine, but why do we the “intelligent” species STILL have that dang blasted urge to procreate then? we ARE animals after all, right??? just about the only animal that is so smart we are too stooopid to get it right. ANYWAYS…… i believe its yogurt. i can’t believe its not butter. i am on my second batch of babies in my almost thirties and thank the (one and only) Lord and bless the cook.

  • Great blog and right on the money. Now a pastor in my early ’50s, I well remember being a 10-year-old on a Massey-Ferguson tractor doing the work of an adult on my dad’s farm. Often while growing up, I wished I could trade places with my friends who enjoyed south Georgia summers at the community pool while I was “swimming” in the dust of a cultivated field. When I entered my adult years, though, I discovered that I hadn’t missed a thing. Rather, I benefited from my dad’s expectations.

    Such a life helped me grow up early, and I don’t regret it. Yes, we live in a different culture than the historical examples provided. So what? Our kids too often remain kids in adult bodies because they fail to learn responsibility and accountability as youth. Scampering from one youth ballgame to another, life is all about fun and play. Unfortunately, too many youths find it difficult to transition into adulthood, where it’s not all about fun and play.

    Of course, child labor laws came about with the Industrial Revolution. There were abuses which needed correcting. However, sometimes corrections can create unintended consequences, and modern adolescence, IMO, is one of those consequences.

  • Elisabeth Gruber

    To Brandon and Headstrong:

    I completely (but respectfully) disagree that teenagers are incapable of rational thought. I am only 15 years old and I am completely capable to think rationally. Granted, often I stupidly choose _not_ to think rationally, but that does not mean that I am incapable of doing so. I _chose_ not to. I must then be a responsible young adult and take accountibility for my actions, and accept the consequences of my actions. I can most certainly make smart and important decisions at this age… I do need the help though of my parents and other godly people in my life to help counsel me in making sure I am indeed making the right decisions, until such a time that I am complete in my maturing. (and even after that I’ll still need gody counsel)

    A thirteen year old can definitely be responsible and take accountibility for his actions… why else would a Juvenile Detention Center exist? (that was a rhetorical question) It’s a place where juveniles who have comitted crimes are sent to as a consequence for their crimes, and in some cases, a holding place for them until they can be tried as adults if the crime is serious enough.

    Historically, teenagers of centuries ago have accomplished so much more than 20&21st century teens. That’s becuase the society held their young people to such higher standards, and the adolescent myth was only created in the last century… so it is very interesting to compare pre-adolescent myth teens with post-adolescent myth teens.

    Successful people throughout history(even nowadays) succeed in different areas of life because they know they are held to a higher standard (God’s standard, their standard, their parants’ standard,society’s standard, etc.). The vast majority of teenagers do not try to accomplish the hard things because society and those around them do not expect anything more from them.

    Dan, you said that very very well: “Expect stupid and you get supid”

    if we dont expect more than the bare minimums, nothing important will ever be achieved… If important people (or people in general) in history only tried to get by with the bare minimum, I’d be sitting here writing this reply in the dark (or by candlelight) onto a piece of paper,without a laptop/computer, advanced forms of mathematics and science would not exist, airplanes and indoor plumbing would not exist, and numorous other modern convienences wouldnt exist, and medications and vaccines would be scarce.

    Most importantly, if we dont expect ourselves to do or try the hardest things like telling other people about Jesus, millions of people in this country and other countries would have and will not hear how to be saved, and then they’d die without ever hearing about Jesus. Because we dont expect something more from ourselves and peers than just having fun and sliding by on our low expectations.

    ~Elisabeth J. Gruber

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  • Ann

    Wow! You are saying what teens need to hear. This is incredible. You have distilled wisdom from history & various writers into something manageable & valuable to every teen. What was high school? Parties, dating, endless “extracurriculars” that substituted for having a real life. Perpetual “recess” — you are exactly right! The reason some of the above commentators think it is ridiculous to think a teen can behave responsibly is because they were not raised &/or have not raised their children to be contributing members of the family & community FROM THE BEGINNING. People who are expected to do something useful every single day will rise to the occassion, no matter what their ages! I have one particular friend who is my “Mommy Role Model”. Her children are brilliant, functional members of their household – learning, cooking, cleaning, earning right beside their parents. She has never had to deal with obnoxious, smart aleck teens because her teens have always felt like they were valued members of the family. Who would want to rebel against that?

  • Gracie Martin

    Earlier today at lunch with my mom I was caught completely off guard when she asked me if I was anxious to move out of our house and move on with my life.

    My 18th birthday was the 5th of January and I am now “legally” considered an adult. I don’t mind at all, considering I grew up several weeks ago when I found out a friend of mine was a registered child molester. He is only a year older than me. Since most (well, none) of you know me personally, I should clear some things up. Children are my life. I babysit/nanny for over 12 families on a regular basis and have been offered some three nanny jobs over the summer. I am known throughout my church as one of the top childcare providers. I work in my church’s infant nursery every 1st Sunday of the month and teach Children’s Church (ages 4 through 1st grade) every 3rd Sunday. I would much rather babyist on a Friday night then blow $10 on a movie. I am going to school this fall to be an elementary school teacher and it is a dream of mine to have a lot of kids and homeschool them the way I was. I hope I don’t sound like I’m bragging, I’m just trying to give you guys a clear picture of who I am. I would do anything within my power to protect the kids I take care of, so you can imagine what I went through when I found this out about my friend. I grew up.

    So when my mom asked me if I was ready to move out I was a little surprised. So I told her the truth. I hate being the age I am right now. I feel like I have left my childhood behind and that I’m ready to grow up, but the people around me refuse to let me. I told her how I’m ready to move out, not because I want to get away from my family, but because I’m ready for the world around me to see me as an adult.

    I’ve been struggling with this for a while now and when I went to check my e-mail several minutes ago, I saw I had an e-mail from the rebelution, I won’t lie, I ignored the e-mail and went straight to this posting and reread it. I want to thank you guys for encouraging me through this blog and through God’s word. I know it’s going to be really HARD to move on with my life, but this is one hard thing I’m ready to do, and I’m glad that I’m not alone.

    so…

    thanks.

  • Jeff Robertson

    Nice post!!!
    Know that this really interesting to me. I have been making people call me a young man instead of a teenager because i think it has a bad name
    Thanks

  • What is it about the piece of twine and the small branch that allows them to subdue all…

    The choke hold that society has wrung our necks with has become overbearing. We turn to make decision of our future and are thrown into a cycle of long-term goals and expectations. The goals have been lined out and the steps to accomplish these are already set in place, but when the goals are examined they seem extremely limiting.

    …it had little to do with the twine and everything to do with invisible shackles around its mind.

    Life is so tangible but we have cluttered with rubbish, with the idea that in only 12 easy steps we can become a better person. Since a child, I have been taught that there are three steps to take in becoming a better person: (1) believing in the love of the Father and the gift of His Son, (2) giving your heart to the Savior of all and (3) walk in newness of life along side the Father.

    Have a blessed day.
    -Ben

    http://impressionsofjesus.wordpress.com

  • Guys you have a handle on life. Thank God for your legacy that you have gained from yout Godly parents. They Rock!

    As the father of 7 kids that we homeschool – it is awesome to see a couple of dudes who are right on.

    Thank you – keep it up – stay humble – and hear God.

    Gjerme

  • Paige

    WOw that was awesome. I’ve been really thinking about all the things God is calling me to do as a teenager. in my county, homeschoolers are mainly thought of as dorks, nerds and immature kids, who are either spoiled, WAY sheltered or just kicked out of school. I was SO exited to find about this website! We are capable of So much more than the world gives us credit for! Thank you SO much for encouraging me. We don’t have to give in to this world’s standards. And we won’t be silent.
    God Bless!!! And thanks. =D

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  • Gabriela

    I just really like this a lot and I wanted to say thank you. It is truly amazing and it gives me so much hope to realize that im not the only one who feels this way. I had no idea how many young people really cared so much about doing what God wants (often very hard things). It’s very uplifting. You have my prayers!

  • Mrs. Collins

    Our family can completely relate with the author’s statements. I’m the mother of two young ladies, and they are completely different from the expected norm. Some people insist, that my daughters will go through a “phase”, that they will be embarassed to be associated with their parents in public, and that they will test their wings and rebel against everything they’ve been taught, just to find their own way. Those people don’t have a clue…our daughters have a deep love for their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and they understand the high calling they have as Christian young women. They are confident in who they are, because they see themselves in Christ. They are not simply living their lives by the whims of the flesh.

    They have direction from the word of God, and because they love Him they want to obey Him. They’re not perfect, I wouldn’t want to give the false impression that they never make mistakes, but what I am saying is that they have set high standards for their lives, with the word of God as their foundation, and I believe for us, by homeschooling them, they have been given them the freedom to go on, move on, and not sit back without direction. Their high school years have included not only acedemics, but also a lot of time in God’s word, and also time to pursue the gifts God has given them, to grow those gifts, and excell at a much younger age, than if they had not been given the time to do so. They learn from other examples, good and bad. They see the fruit of a life lived well, and the huge difference of a life that has been wasted.

    I do believe God is calling out a group of young people who will be used mightily by Him! Go Rebelutionaries, you have our prayers!!!

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  • Amen! As a teenager, I have a hard time simply doing the things I am supposed to do, because other teens simply cannot understand why I would want to, and even ridicule me some times. It is sad to see the “normal” teens of today, knowing that they will continue to wear the same baggy clothes, the same long hair, and work at minumum wage for most likely the rest of their life. It is becoming increasingly hard to keep a christian mindset in the culture of today, and I often slip. The worst part for me is disrespecting my parents. Even though I know they are in authority over me, as dictated by the Bible, there is this mindset imprinted upon teenagers that our parents are evil, wrong, and should be disobeyed simply for the sake of disobeying. The only recourse left for Christian teens is to create a counter-culture, like you two have done, and show the world how it is SUPPOSED to be done. Keep up the good work, and God bless!

  • blackh0le

    Never thought of it that way

  • Marilla P.

    Today was the conference in Minneapolis,MN. I and my friends went and enjoyed it very much. I really liked the session about The Myth of Adolescence. It was extremly well put and the message was great. It’s just what the teenagers of today need. Thank you so much, you are really a send from God!

    P.S. This is kinda besides the point but, I know Seth and Ian Willard from the book(they’re on page 81). Actually, I’m very,very good friends with them(and their family).

  • briana

    I am new to the Rebelution and so excited that I discovered it! I started reading “Do Hard Things” a few weeks ago and could not put it down! You guys put a lot of what I had been thinking down on paper, plus challenged my mind and heart even more! I am honestly sick of the label “teenager” or the saying, ” they are just in their rebellion years”! We are DEPRAVED HUMANS just like every body else! I am tired of the excuses for our sins and the excuses for our laziness! As for a non believer we can expect nothing less but as believers we are more than capable of being responsible. We are to not let anyone look down on our youth (1 Timothy 4:12). I think the big key to this subject is having the power of Christ inside of us. Apart from Christ we can do nothing ( John 15:5 ). I just want to thank you guys for the ministry you have established! I am so excited about this ministry that I myself am about to embark upon a small ministry in my church! It is a BIG blessing! Thanks!

  • Hope

    My youth group is doing a new book study on “Do Hard Things” and I absolutely love it!! We are only on chapter 3 but it has been awesome!!! I can’t wait until we go to the conference!! I really loved this chapter… I really liked how you used the elephant analogy. Just like the elephant has been conditioned to having shackles holding them back, the low expectations of this world for teenagers are holding us back! I also like in this chapter where you showed that people live up to their expectations (high or low), and I really liked the quote from Henry Ford, “Whether you think you can or whether you think you can’t, you’re right.” Thanks soooo much for writing this awesome book and I can’t wait to get further into it!!!

    =] *Hope*

  • paul sommer

    i have worked with teenagers for over 6 years and before that I worked with college and young singles. I have been saying what you guys are saying in your book for quite sometime, mostly to fall upon deaf ears except among adults. So many teens are so caught up in thier culture that they don’t even realize what it is doing to thier walk with Christ, if they have one to begin with. It is refreshing and a praise to God to hear that this was started by two young people. I firmly believe that God will use you in mighty ways and my prayers will be with you as they have been for teens to break free from the lies of our culture. Colossians 2:8-10, 2 Corinthians 4:3-5.
    paul sommer

  • Cati

    Alex and Brett,

    I am a recent homeschool graduate as well as a recent reader of your book, “Do Hard Things”. I’ve just spent this afternoon watching the 2008 conference DVD from Portland, Oregon. I really love the book and the concept, but I guess I feel a little stuck. What do I do now? I am not a normal, low expectation teenager… I’ve grown up with responsibilities.

    At eighteen, I can run a household, travel by myself, hold down a job, self-employ myself, teach and coach, write novels, care for other people’s children, keep a good budget, make plans and goals and meet them.

    To me, these things seem easy… but I have no idea where to find hard things. I have dreams, but I don’t know how to chase them. I have ideas, but I don’t even know how to go about looking into them. I have desires, but I don’t know how to pursue them.

    I don’t feel as if I am being used by God in great ways, like I know He wants to use me. But at the same time, I’m not sitting around not wanting to be used. No, I want to be used… but I’m just not seeing anything happening. Which I guess it a dumb thought, because faith is not seeing things.

    I’d like to be involved in outreach, but I don’t know how. My church is small and has nothing. I’d like to be involved with conferences, mission work, outreach to teenagers, athlete ministries. I just don’t know where to go. I don’t go to a large church or a church with any opportunities to serve in that way; I don’t go to school or college where there may be places to be involved like that either. I don’t know what to do. And it’s frustrating. I guess the obvious answer would be to pray, but the truth is, I’ve been praying since last year… and I still don’t seem to have a clue. Will I ever? I don’t want to keep sitting around wasting time.

    So I guess my main question is what is the next level of hard things? If you’re already doing things that many people would consider hard or overachieving, where do you go next? And how do you determine what hard things are for you?

    Cati Gerwitz
    [email protected]

  • maggie

    Alex,
    You just put into words, what has been missing in me. I knew that God had a plan, and i didn’t know where to start. I think i have just found it. I am currently reading ya’lls book. And i have a new spark in my life, that i haven’t felt before. I am on fire, i am ready to go out there.

    I am homeschooled, i don’t have much opportunity to go out in the world. I grew up in a Christian home, all of my friends are believers. I have been shy and cautious about doing new things. Thinking them through thoroughly before i do them. So where exactly should i start? How do i determine which hard things are for me?

    Maggie Stone

  • Jessica

    Thank you!

    Finally someone who put into words what I’ve been thinking since I turned twelve. My parents are such prime examples of the modern way of thinking of teens. They want me to be mature and have my own opinions and independent mind, but when I try to express it I get told to ‘not mouth off’ or ‘stop correcting your mother/father’, I’m left alone in the house with a list of chores and errands to run as long as my arm and yet they think me too childlike to manage my own money (they are constantly checking my bank account asking where the twenty bucks went), I’m allowed to hang out with my guy friends at the mall but can I bring them over for the cook out? Parish the thought, but seriously if I was going to do something would I have better opportunity at the mall?

    I’m personally of the opinion that this behavior stems from two major areas. 1: Our parents DON’T want us to grow up, it scares them to death to think that they’re ‘baby’ might be turning into an adult. 2: Our parents are terrified that we’ll do the same things as teens and young adults that they did. I’m continuously being told about all the screw ups my parents made (don’t get me wrong they’re good hard working people and pretty good parents) and there’s quite a few of them, and how they don’t want me making those mistakes.

    I go to a charter school because my parents (who both went to public) didn’t want ‘bad ideals’ influencing me. They taught me to always come and talk to them if anything happened at school, no matter what it was, so when I came home halfway through my freshmen year and told my mom that I’d been offered pot in the bathroom and had turned it down she flipped. She was talking about pulling me out and dumping me in a catholic boarding school (where she would find one of these schools I’m not entirely sure), making me come home straight after school, demanding to check my eyes to make sure I wasn’t high, the list went on and on. And the entire time I was thinking ‘I did what you raised me to do and I’m being punished because you’re afraid that I wont do it again?’. Then a week later she told me the reason she freaked out was because she didn’t ‘expect her little girl to have this issue so soon’. And in there lies the problem, ‘little girl’ parents see us as the pink bundles they brought home not as the growing adults we are, and child work and schooling laws have only added to that nostalgia.

    I was already skipped a grade in middle school, my school gave me a test and said that I could have been a senior my sophomore year, my parents didn’t want that saying they wanted ‘my childhood to last’ even though I was jumping and yelling in the background that I was bored out of my mind and would love it. Still they didn’t go with the plan for me starting college at the age of 15 for one simple reason ‘little girl was growing up too fast’. When will this ‘baby’ nostalgia end? I’m old enough to be give ‘the talk’, to drive, to manage money, ect. and in some countries I’m old enough to be working and on my own. My friends see it, my teachers see it (to a point) but my parents are chronically blind. When will this end, if ever? How can I make my parents realize that I’m a young adult not simply ‘a teenager’?

    Jessica R

  • mickey

    hey um this is my first time at your web site i heard abt you guys when my mother gave me your book. im really enjoying your book. everything tht you guys say is true! i love it. i have a dream but ppl dont think its possible. personally im begining to doubt tht it could happen but i feel like god is calling me to do it. by reading your book its seriously began to help. my mom doesnt really think i can do this pluss honestlly i dont think shes too happy with it. every one says tht its rediculous… idk what to do. rebelling against low expectations is what i want to do but the thing is how????

  • Caroline

    I do agree with you on your opinion that many teenagers fall short of their potential because they feel its a time to “have fun”, but I also believe that the period of being a teenager can be a great time of preparation. The great thing about it is that we are learning and growing; we have the whole rest of our lives to have to have a full time job to support ourselves. Think about it: more or less 40 years of working, and not one single break. Now I don’t believe we should just mess around in our time of “adolescence” but we should be able to enjoy those few short years that could be considered the best of our lives, if we follow God in the process that is. Also, it is a known science fact that the teenage mind is not fully developed, and while that doesn’t mean that we aren’t fully responsible for our actions, it does mean that many of us don’t completely consider all the angles when making descisions and fixing problems. Sometimes in the process of growing up, we don’t exactly put what’s important in perspective, and maybe we need a couple of years to figure them out before we have to face real problems. I know that I’ve had a lot of struggles in finding and staying with God, but I know that I only needed time to grow and “find myself” I guess you might say, without having to face huge demanding responsibilities like raising a family or paying the rent. Being a teenager also gives us all time to really think deeply about what we want to do in the world, and what we would really like to be, not just sign up for the first career that falls into our laps. I hope you understand a bit of where I’m coming from, as I do see your point as well. Btw, I absolutely LOVE your blogs! They are so thought provoking!
    Thanks,
    Caroline

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  • Abb-eee!

    yes, i agree that us teenagers can make stupid decisions. i’ve been there. but i don’t necissarily think that we are not uncapable of it. i appreciate what you’ve written. ir’s helped me a lot.
    *many prayers*

  • Abb-eee!

    my bad. i meant, “i don’t think that we’re uncapable of it”

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  • I have brought this issue up with students and they are frustrated at the controls and hand-tying of the government. They feel like the examples of George Washington, David Farragut and Clara Barton are unreal for today.

  • Isaac

    I dont neccesarily call adolescence a myth and from your perspectives not every one will agree about high school neccesarily being a 4 year sentence

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  • Isaac S.

    Some of you people don’t understand what the Harris’ are trying to convey here, so here’s what I get from it. What they are trying to say is that too many peolple treat the teen years as a time to”have fun” That it’s a time to get “the most out of life,” Brett and Alex and me for that matter argue that it is the time of your life when you figure out who you want to mature into. The sad thing is that society, the media, even our own parents only expect that we sit in our room with our ipods doing drugs having sex doing whatever it takes for us to be satisfied. The truth is that none of that satisfies you, but soon that is all you know our can think of because people have no faith or challenge that you will be anything more. What this site is for is to be that encouragement, that challenge, to be something more, to get true satisfaction from your life, to do that through Jesus Christ. Brett and Alex is challenging our generation to stand up and make a change. We were put here on Earth not for ourselves, but because God has a perfect purpose and perfect plan for our lives. This is what Brett and Alex are talking about, encouraging and doing.

  • I read about the things that you guys are doing in your book. I checked it out from my church’s library, because it was new and it looked interesting. I would like to help with some of the graphics on your website. I have a program at home called flash, but I’m only an armature. I can help out, though. I can create some animation for you guys, if you like. Please e-mail me if you’d like my help. Thanks!!

    ~Adam

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  • April

    hey i just wanted to say that was awesome!! i wish more people would realize that we CAN break the twine and reach beyond what any of us teens would think possible. thanks again i will be praying for GOD to keep his protective hand on you guys!

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  • Renee

    I’ve really struggled with this issue for a long time, and the conclusion I’ve come to is that I believe I’m a teenager in a different sence of the word. I don’t believe I’m 100% adult, but I’m simply a young adult striving to mature. The question is, “when do you become an adult?” And that answer is different for everyone; I know 30 year olds who are not adults, but plenty decent “teens” that could fit in that catagory easily. Adulthood doesn’t come on you on a certain birthday, it comes when you finally accept responsibility, and the individual must decide that for him or her self. For some people it just takes longer and for others not as long.

    One thing I’m thankful for is my parents through my time as a teenager. They’ve never belittled me or treated me like a “teen”. Last year, I made the decision not to attend my church’s youth group because I believed that one reason why Christian young people act like “teens” is because they are involved in a youth group. My parents supported me behind this decision, and now I sit with them and we discuss the sermon afterwards. My life has been benefited 110% from this choice, and other choices that I have made, to help my maturity grow instead of letting myself be caught up in the “teen” mentality.

    The main problem that I have with the teenager is that it’s “gender nutral”. For instance, when you are a child, you are a girl or boy, when you are an adult you are a woman or man but in the inbetween you are a “teenager”. It’s a gender nutral stance. From my observations, most teens don’t play their gender role very well. Instead of acting like a young lady or a young man, you act (and often dress) exactly the same. I think the teenager should strive to learn his or her gender role instead of messing around acting like a goof.

    I do not think that because you are now an “adult” you can learn 7 languages, master kinesiology or become a philosopher. But teenagers should be able to master basic skills: managing a house, keeping study habits, holding a job, learning thinking skills, behaving properly, etc. Those are things the average teenager can’t even do right now.

  • Elizabeth

    I think that people automatically think that a teenager can’t do anything and is rebellious. That’s typically the thought of people, even Christians. The ‘Terrible Teens’, I think that we should make it the ‘Terriffic Teens’! If people would hold a higher standard for teenagers, I think that everyone would benefit from that. Teenagers have a mind of their own, and a unique personality to each. Just because we are teens doesn’t mean that all we do is lay around and do nothing! I think teenagers should be starting to learn adult responsibility, and act as an adult. If we can do that, we can change the thoughts of people to hold us to a higher standard. I for one love it when my parents and other adults let me do something they would let other adults do. I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but that makes me feel great! Better than getting a compliment from someone you really admire. I think we as teens should take more responsiblity. Let’s do this!!

  • cara

    We love your book we hear about it all the time!
    we read it in life skills
    “represet!” – pheobe

  • santiago

    I’m amazed that at the age of 19, George Washington had already made 300,000 dollars. You have really opened my eyes to the way we confine ourselves to the expectations of others. thanks.

  • lydia

    Today my sunday school class read chapter three in your book. i think its really awesome that once you change your way of thinking, and break the twine thats holding you to a flimsy post, you can do so many things god is calling out for you to do. over the past week i have been trying harder to exceed expectations and go above and beyond what is expected of me, and you know, it makes me feel like ive accomplished something worth while in my life.

  • Cole

    I Love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)

  • Daniel

    Last time I checked adults make a lot of stupid decision, don’t know how to act responsability and make a lot of mistakes. The myth that becoming legally adults or getting older makes you wiser, more intelligente, more knowledgeable and more mature is even a worse junk fairy take than the myth of adolescence. Adults kill, do war, don’t take responsability for their actions, lie, fraud, discriminate, torture, think and act stupidly like whatever person of whatever age. It’s not age that determines your maturity but the kind of person you are. You can be 50 and immature and you can be 13 and immensely more mature. Mature teens and children can teach more to an immature 50 year old than he could teach them. And what really disturbs me is that idea that an “adult” (adult just because of X age not because of his/her actions) must always be the mentor and advisor to someone younger. I think parents, nowadays, are more stupid, shallow, victims of stereotypes and gladly apathetic than their younger children, who on conservation appear to be way more brilliant, objective, rational and open minded.

  • RJ

    WOW! 100.000 dollars a year that´s alot!!

    RYAN

  • John

    I love hearing stories about teen stepping out of into the community and doing great things. In the Bible, God used lots of young people for his ministry.
    King David was just a young boy when he killed Goliath, and he was still fairly young when he gained the throne.
    Mary, they say she was only 13 or so when God blessed her by having her have his Son Jesus.
    I’ve heard that some scholars believe that most of the disciples were teens or early twenties because they didn’t have to pay that one tax (the name is escaping me right now, but Jesus and Peter paid it. Just think about it, the apostle John was the last of the origional 12 to die. They say that he wrote Revelations in about 90 AD. If he were born in 0, then he would be 90 years old, an unatainable age back then. Say he was born in AD 15, then he would have been about 15-17 when he started with Jesus, and about 75 when he wrote Revelations. That is still pretty old, so he might have been younger still.
    I believe that God can do some amazing things through teens and hearing of all the times he changed the world through a bunch of young adults is very cool.

  • Megan H.

    you guys are absolutely right we need to break that twine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Melanie

    What some are missing in their support of the concept of today’s adolescents being as fully capable as adults, as in yesteryears, is a complete revolution of culture since those times. In Biblical times, children-including grown children-were to honor their parents, and there were huge consequences for not doing so. In the days of Washington, children-including grown children-were very reverential of parents, calling them “Sir” and “Ma’am” even in their letters (have you read some letters from children, and teens, of those times to their parents? very very formal and deferential). Society as a whole was different-it wouldn’t be only an unwed pregnant teen who would be censured, even outcast, by all of society, adult women would be also (remember “The Scarlet Letter”?) In those days, becoming an adult wasn’t only a case of full rights, which were minimal in most cases compared to today, it was a case of full responsibilities, which were maximum in most cases compared to today. I agree that the way we’re doing it now isn’t optimal, and frankly I don’t know what the solution for a change would be, because society and the overall culture are so different for everyone, including today’s “adults”. It’s never been so easy to escape dire consequences for bad or immoral (if that word’s not too outdated) decisions in life, even for adults. All who are clamoring for their full recognition as adults, like Washington and Farragut had-are you also ready for the full responsibility and deference to authority which they had to pay on the way? Yes, things are different now-that’s my point. I’m not trying to say that the author doesn’t make good points, I’m just throwing out some more points to ponder.

  • This site is interesting as well as informative. Enjoyed browsing through the site. Keep up the good work. Greetings..

  • Britannica

    In past times, children were a part of the workforce. Everyone had to help out in order to survive, so the more children in a family, the more helping hands. These days, due to changes in physical capital (mostly right before the Industrial Revolution) and technology, this is not as necessary (Malthus was wrong!). The same is true of certain other cultures. What is so wrong about being leisurely about growing up?
    With so much more required of adults these days, is it no wonder that a longer preparatory period might be necessary?
    For myself, I know that I was a child until seventeen. Mentally, I may have been mature, but certainly not physically or emotionally.
    Personally, I too view the teenage years as a generally wasted period. I think it is a good time to figure out purpose and direction in life, and teens would do well to utilize their time wisely. It’s not time to play around at all. But I don’t think that teens can handle a huge helping of adult responsibilities; big shoes take time to grow into.

  • Tyler Smart

    This is a book already published by David Alan Black about this exact subject:

    http://www.amazon.com/Myth-Adolescence-Responsible-Children-Irresponsible/dp/1891833510

  • Katie

    I saw you guys yesterday in Gadsden and I just wanted to say thanks for coming to Alabama, I really got a lot out of the confrence and walked away a whole new person. I’m praying for both you daily!

    God Bless,
    Katie

  • Morvyn Menzies

    This article has helped me so much, i’m writing for our school newspaper about teenage stereotypes and rebelling against how the media portrays us. Hopefully it will build up more of a rebuloution in Scotland!
    Thanks,
    Morvyn

  • Lizzie

    While I think it’s a great idea to encourage children to “do the hard thing” children are children until they are adults. There is no replacement for the wisdom that comes with age and experience. Adults should mentor children. Calling a child a young man doesn’t make them an adult. I think worse than coining the phrase “teenager” is calling a child a young adult. I have been around the body of Christ and church long even to have seen many waves of ground breaking ideas sweep thru a church, a youth group or the well intentioned mind of a youth pastor, only to see giant upheavals producing a new list of do’s and don’ts, a new list of the children who have gained pastoral approval and a longer list of children who don’t measure up. Help parents, help their children to fall in love with Jesus Christ.

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  • Jordan Oz

    I don’t think that this article means that all of the ten year olds in America need to pack their bags and run away to make a living on their own. It simply says that we as teens are letting ourselves be held in by boundaries that we only imagine are there. I don’t think it’s an IQ that has anything to do with it, and we can still learn as we go. But you can’t just tie them up until they learn everything. You learn as you go. Snap the twig. ~

  • dhecs

    Kuya (Bro.) Alex and brett,

    I’m so inspired by your enormous thinking and perspective regarding our generation. It’s a priveledge for us too know that there is such men like you guys who is fan doing whagt is right for the Glory of God.

    Anyways, I realized that it’s really not right to be degraded by this world because we are young, but we should set examples in shifting this corrupt thingking and living into a better and pleasing lifestyle.

    I just attended seminnar yesterday, and i found the real essence of my days as young adult. the seminar talked about ‘the winning attitude for success’. I was so inspired by the speakers, Efren Penaflorida Jr. who recently awarded as CNN Heroe of the Year and Mr. Francis Kong.

    Mr. EF stated that “one is never too young to give back to society”. Trully, that age really doesn’t matter to express your talents, skills and capabilties to contribute for your society. We should extend our strength and knowledge with concern for others. Heroe is just hiding within us and the only thing we have to do is to unleash it.

    It’s never too late to make a step toward success. We just have to continue the race and finish it till the end. Endure hardship and face it with faith and confident…

    God bless everyone! We are all exceptional in our own little ways and By this, it’s a big thing for a big ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————change.!—————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-

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  • Art Vandalay

    Hello i am 16 and as i read this(and the book) I’m guessing that in some way I’m supposed to be inspired “to do hard things,” but so far I don’t have much motivation. I work full time, I go to school, I have three year old brother that is the best, and I play a few different instruments. With these things I am already, at times, overwhelmed. And i know this kind of proves your point, but I really don’t want to do anymore. I’m not sure why but the way this blog is written it makes me feel like that is a bad thing, like if I don’t max myself out I’m a bad person.

    Art

  • It was just another simple, but tiring day when I decided to go straight at the local bookstore in our town (Philippine Christian Bookstore). I always consider this kind of incident as one of my life’s turning point. I know God planned it perfectly as I scan different
    devotional and inspirational books, when my hands caught the catchy cover of the book DO HARD THINGS, located on the bestsellers section of the bookstore. As I read the foreword, and the back cover, it triggered my deep senses until I notice myself walking straight to the
    counter and purchasing it.

    I am turning 18, and this year, God called me to do greater things beyond what my mind says. I love reading and writing essays, it keeps me winded up and relaxed. And this skill that I acquired during my high school days had fallen asleep when I became busy on my study at college level. And then, I realized that I badly need a change.

    The book I am holding now greatly changed my mindset about the condition of the adolescents of our generation. I know this would help me a lot, and I want to share it to my circle of friends. I have the deep passion on knowing God personally, but I always have a hard time doing it. I still need to learn more. And this book of yours is one of the answer. THANKS a lot for exerting such an effort on this book, and for your concern to us,
    teenagers they call. I really really want too say so many things, but I think this comment box isn’t enough to reveal my side, gratitude, and of course,faith issues.

    I want to support your walk as you strive hard on reaching sleeping youths all over the world. I want to be a part on God’s work on us, and I believe this is a very great thing
    to achieve.

    Just want to share my life verse to all of you. Though it actually appear on your book,
    I love to read it over and over again, because God wrote it for me, for us. A love letter.

    Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world instead be transformed
    by the renewing of your mind. And you will be able to test and approve God’s will is-
    His good, pleasing, perfect will.

    Society no longer got a hold on us. If we are the only hope for the future, then we definitely GOT a TIGHT hold on what we SHOULD do TODAY!

    More power and blessings from our Lord above!

    PS: I hope I would not be an outcast in here, considering I came from the east. 😀
    You can always approach me to help ypu build the kingdom of God. 😀
    need to mold our present lives

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  • Hey, fantastic article! I will bookmark this one! Cheers

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  • Savannah

    WOW!!!!!!!

  • Vic Thomas

    I love what you guys are doing! We heard about you in our computer class! I look up to what you are doing. Your right, we hear stories of these great people all the time, yet we don’t step up and do anything! Keep spreading the good word! Thanks for your hard work.

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  • Ally

    It reminds me of those kings in the Bible who were ruling countries at Nine!! Well maybe not completely ruling but had the weight-barring title of King of Israel!! I appreciate that you said this…it cannot be stressed enough that this generation are in fact succumbed to this “myth” and need to avoid it. The next generation of teens need to step up…after all we are going to be the next ones to “Rule the world”.

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  • tyler

    this spoke volumes to me! you guys really know how to say the right stuff at the right time.

  • Nevil

    Hi Guys, You have hit the nail on the head. I have a 17 year old who attended a school where the expectation was that all pupils will finish schooling conforming to a mould that the school sees as productive for the world within which we live. Unfortunately, it has turned my son against school, against Christianity and against anything or anybody that does not recognize the broken nature of the world we live in. Only by allowing ourselves to fall under the authority of Jesus Christ will we truly be set free from the shackles that bind us to this world.

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  • Joshua

    I completely agree with everything you guys say. Many kids take advantage of their “adolesent” years. They make stupid decisions and think, “oh well its cause I’m a teenager.” WRONG! My big brother Ty he likes to stay away from the peoplewho do that so he doesnt. I’m not saying he’s perfect,no, none of us are. But God has put an older brother in my life like he is now so that I can see how to act. All this stuff about being a teenager it brings our generation down so that when we grow up we don,t know what to do with ourselves.

  • jarrett

    I mostly agree with this, though I believe there can also be another myth, and that is the myth of overachieving. I say don’t worry about overachieving– just achieve. I wouldn’t title it “do hard things” i would change it to something like “do the right thing”. I mean, we should push ourselves, but sometimes it’s better to work smarter not harder.. after all, often times the best things for us aren’t necessarily the ones that look hardest on paper. Sometimes it’s the deceptively easy things in life that turn out to be the most important.

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  • Eric

    Beautifully put, sir.

  • Jake

    Hey guys,

    This is totally what i needed, and I’m sure you’ve had thousands of youngsters like me tell you that, but its true. A friend and i both are struggling through this, the Myth of Adolescence. Even other Christian parents and leaders have this…thing, about teenagers. And we need to break that twine. It was hard before i even heard about “Do Hard Things”. I’m just glad there someone else in the world who actually knows what i’m talking about. There is no reason for young teenagers or young adults to not act like a adult, or even have responsibilities, not exactly “behave as an adult”, more “behave responsibly” (i can tell you, there are some really irresponsible adults out there).

    I’d just like to thank you guys, and everyone, for going through with this and putting it all together. Thanks, again pal.

  • Hey Guys,
    This is exactly what I needed! Ever since I read your book I have wanted to do something special and out of the ordinary.
    Thanks for the help.

  • Elizabeth K

    At the begging of a new semester my chemistry teacher opens the class with “Your grade is going to go down this semester. In all the years that I have taught Chemistry I have never seen anyone’s grade improve this semester.” My friend and I both quickly spoke up saying that we would be the first’s. We where not going to conform to what others thought. We where not going to drop our bar of excellence to meet their bar of mediocrity, and we didn’t. We became the first people ever to have our grades improve that semester. I was even out for a complete chapter and still accomplished excellence. We took their bar of mediocrity and blew it out of the water. I plan to do this many more times.

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  • Erin

    Thank you so much for posting this, for making this
    website, and doing everything you’ve done to encourage others to
    respect us, teenagers, as adults. I’m glad that someone has the
    courage to speak up and encourage adults to treat us the way we
    have earned. My biological age is 17, but I feel that I’ve been in
    my late thirties since I was 15. Life is hard on us these days. We
    have the stress of our lives and finances, in addition to our
    schoolwork, our extracurriculars, and, for me, all the community
    service, volunteering, and interning I do. There is so much for us
    to deal with. Is respect so much to ask for? Not every teenager is
    the same. I’m not saying that everyone is like you or I, but I
    don’t believe in stereotypes. Anyone who has stereotypes needs to
    get rid of them. Some people are forced into their different
    situations and some people choose them, and when you look at
    someone, you have no idea which they are. Give them a chance. A
    close-minded disposition is a life, possbilities, and potential
    wasted. You have no idea what you might be missing out on when you
    don’t have an open mind. Thank you, Alex and Brett, for trying to
    prove this in your own way. Thank you for making a difference in
    our lives.

  • Lucy

    On the whole, I like the idea of this website: Teenagers should start taking responsibility for their actions. In many ways, if given the right opportunity, strong, mature people emerge. For that, I applaud you for inspiring other young people to action. But I’m annoyed with your vilification of higher education and child labor laws.

    Before child labor laws were enacted, children had to endure cruel treatment and long hours in factory jobs, often making less money than the full grown men. The fact that they made less money meant that the employers didn’t view them as being as valuable workers. Why? Because they aren’t adults!

    Child labor laws and high school were created as a means to protect children and give them a chance to have intellectual careers rather than harsh factory work.

    And have you two ever been to a real high school? As someone whose closest friends and family members are educators and who has been raised in public school all my life, I can say without a shadow of a doubt that every teacher is doing their best to prepare teens for the adult world and give them all the tools they need to succeed.

    For some, like you, family support and high income make success readily available. However, many students come from poor households or broken homes, and they need extra support and encouragement from teachers. They aren’t able to reach their full adult potential at a young age because there are major gaps in the basics.

  • justin

    I just got done reading your book, it opened my eyes to alot of stuff. I dont understand why we have to grow up to fast? My familys allways saying don’t grow up to fast, go out and have fun. I understand taking responsibilty and doing hard things but wouldnt god want us to have fun as well?

  • Shourya

    wel im 18 4m india n d social set up is different here. i think d article is superb bt limited in its views n comments. it is my belief dat d views n opinions r confined 2 d middle n upper middle class only. Child labour exists in india n tho it is legaly prohibited (till age of 14) its is rampant in its practise. Being a first hand spectator of this i believe dat it is indeed a crime 2 make teenagers feel irresponsible n reckless.Yes they do owe a duty 2 society aswel. But at the same tym it is my belief dat if de r mature enuf 2 understand dat de hv2 do good for our society den de wil do it. but that consists of only a handful of ppl. The majority thinks its a tym of carefree enjoyment n dat is where i think de shud b left alone. For they hu donot understand dat de have 2 do sumthing can neva be forced 2 do sumthing.i think de shud b given the liberty 2 mature lyk fine wine vich later on d society can savour

  • Kimberly

    YOU DON”T GET IT

    they do NOT intend to extend adolescence and arrive at responsibility later…

    THEY INTEND TO NEVER TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!

    BILL CLINTON, JOHN EDWARDS, TIGER WOODS…. we’re all “big kids” who have no concept of ever ending the ride!

    EVEN MORE men AND WOMEN intend to constantly be less and less responsible and they belive that grabbing what they perceive as “heaven” NOW is the only thing that matters.
    INCLUDING YOUTH PASTORS WHO ARE SMOKING CIGARS AND STARTING SKATE BOARD MINISTRIES!

    LETS JUST ALL BE “BIG KIDS”!

  • Camila

    ok, i totally agree with what your saying (like everyone else does) but can teens who are around 13 and live in over protective homes still find a way to take responsibility for bigger things other than school?

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  • Alex Steiner

    It seems that this site in general is really just “preaching to choir.” I don’t feel as though its readers represent an accurate cross-section of American teens. As I looked at the modesty survey results I found that most of the readers here actually were individuals who went through homeschooling, suggesting a largely rural, and religious following. While that’s all fine and good, I encourage readers to consider other viewpoints and to really spend time reading other sources as well. I worry that too many people on here have been influenced by strict parenting and religious leaders that they haven’t been given the opportunity to form their own opinions.

    With that being said, I do agree that today’s youth is less responsible than we ought to be, however, blaming progressive era reforms like child labor laws is just absurd, children needed to be protected as well as all workers because they were being exploited. And you can’t just cite two successful kids from history and say that all children are old enough to work and participate in adult activities. Do you really think that the majority of children would excel as much as Farragut and Washington? I hate to bring down such an optimistic view, but it’s just not realistic. I sure as hell don’t want another child admiral, I don’t care how smart he is, war is a traumatizing thing that even adults often can’t handle so such an example should not be glorified.

    I agree that high school is in general a big waste of time, but lets reform it and make it better instead of ending public education by age 12 and throwing pre-teens into the real world. Granted the issue in question is the responsibility and maturity of adolescents (13-18), you’re proposed solution is to give more responsibility to children so that by the time they reach adolescence, they can be treated as adults. Childhood that is a wonderful time that should be about getting to know oneself, developing social skills, and developing a strong moral center. Childhood SHOULD NOT be about having a job, providing for a family, and keeping so busy that they can’t even enjoy themselves. Some kids like to be very productive and that’s great, but not everyone should be forced to fit into that mold. I would much rather have a happy son/daughter than one who can take care of their self.

    In conclusion, I think parents should expect more of their kids, but not to the extent suggested in this article. I mean, the author suggests kids should be like Washington and Farragut at their age, which is a ridiculous standard. Are you all really prepared to compare every child to a president? An exceptional president I might add…

  • jose

    Me gusto mucho el articulo pero solo por que los ninos son capas de ser responsables. vivimos en un mundo que los jovenes no trabajan por que estan todavia en la joventud y hay muchos paises donde los padres obligan a los hijos a trabajar cuando estan joven para ganar buen dinero. Mis padres me an sugerido que coja un part time para ganar me un dinerito para ayudarlos y pienso que esta bien por que asi lla te ases responsable de ti mismo y pagas tu cosas, no como los padres que le compran todo y cuando pierden a sus padres no saben como consumir el dinero y ser se responsable.

  • bryan

    i agree fully with this article.. My mother and step father work with kids with learning disabilities and related subjects and recently we touched the subject of kids and their identities. it has been proven that once a person has been set a identity, they will do absolutely everything to stay true to their identity. for example, there was this kid once that he would start crying and think that people will stare at him incessantly. so one day we decided to test the identity thing out. The kid started crying and my stepfather said:” now everybody look up”. 28 people were staring at the ceiling and still the kid insisted that everybody was staring at him. This is wat has happend to us.. adults have set the identity that we “adolescents” are going through a change and that we are not yet ready to take up the full responsability of the adults..

  • jose llama

    I agree completely with this article. I think teenagers can behave as adults but the modern era that we are living in is not letting kids be like young adults and act like young adults.I also think that kids are not ready to be adults I think that they still don’t have the capability of acting like young adults and with all the tings that this era fallows us it is hard to restraine from being a kid. and acting like one and not like a young adult.

  • Emeka

    Dear Brett and Alex
    I am twenty nine years old. I gave my life to Christ seven years ago and have been a youth pastor for 4 out of those seven years. However, reading your blog, I am challenged to the core of my being and awakened from the misconception that has plagued this 21st century generation: that our youth would rather blame the world than take responsibility for it. You guys are a shining example and I can only say for now, God bless and may grace be multiplied unto you. You will never know just how much impact you just had on my life.

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  • KK

    So true

  • hunter

    to brett and alex
    i am reading do hard thing with the youth group at my church i am leading this group as a 14 year old. the message this book it giving me is that no matter who or what says you cant you can and i think that goes for every body this book has made me relize doing hard things is not hard if you put your mind to it thanks for inspiring me and the way i live for the lord

  • Lindsay

    When I was in health class, my teacher was talking about teenagers. Being fourteen and a freshman lead me to think “Psh these are gonna be the BEST years of my life >:)” But then I realized it was the world trying to draw me into its trap. My health teacher pretty much defined teens as liars, sex addicts (some), drug addicts (some), cheaters, and the meanest animal on the face of the planet. During that time, I thought “this is why I gotta rise above” Thanks Alex and Brett

  • My brother suggested I would possibly like this website. He was once entirely right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t consider just how a lot time I had spent for this information! Thank you!

  • Regina

    i am so thankful for the book do hard things and this amazing website!
    i am now very excited to start doing hard things. i want to make my family and GOD proud by putting GOD first in my life and doing whatever he calls me to do!

  • Lucas

    So very true.

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  • It is the happiest day of my life so far, when I am watching these funny video clips at this place, since after full day working I was so tired and now feeling well.

  • i really enjoy reading your book it really touched my heart i read it every night.

  • LENICE

    Hello, I’m from Brazil and I’m translating my Portuguese translator on google, lol
    Do you know? … I’m reading your book and found it very interesting radicalized, mostly because I know the whole story is real … Very beautiful indeed! I believe God has great purposes for their lives! I’m starting (that part which speaks of the girl named Heidh).
    I AGREE WITH YOU, WE HAVE TO TEENS WHO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Radicalize, TAKE HEAVY … BECAUSE WE ARE ABLE AND ALREADY WON THE EVIL (as written in the bible) STAY IN PEACE …. CONGRATULATIONS ….

  • LENICE

    NEM SEI FALAR INGLÊS… KKKK

  • Joseph

    I found the book in the Garage and I started reading it I love it keep it up

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  • Alannah Quetel

    About five years ago, when I was 12 years old, my mother gave me “Do Hard Things”. I read it and really liked what I was reading, but unfortunately I started to forget about it quickly and it just became another book on the shelf. But recently my church, along with children’s church and youth group, has started a new “tween group”. This group is for ages 10-12. I completely ignored this group (which only has two 11 year old boys right now) and decided to bring my 12 year-old sister Emma to youth group anyway. After bringing her for a few weeks I was told by my pastor that she was no longer allowed to attend youth group, and would have to attend the “tween” group. Our pastor even told me that he does not believe in 12 year-olds being in class with teenagers because they “aren’t ready”. Even the PASTOR of my CHURCH has such low expectations of young people that he is holding us back! But this is what brought me back to “Do Hard Things” and theRebelution.com. After reading the book the second time I started to tell my friends about it, and also the teacher of the “tween” group, who told me that he would not teach them from it because they were “too young” to learn “life application stuff”. So I brought it to my youth pastor…the only person I thought would listen. And he did! After checking out theRebelution.com. He is currently reading “Do Hard Things” and is very excited about teaching the youth more about it. He even gave me all of last night’s class to speak about it! I am hoping and praying that God will use our church’s youth to show the leadership of our church what the Lord can use young people for; and I am trusting God to change our pastor’s mind on what he already strongly believes about children, “tweens”, and teenagers. Thank you for sharing this blog, and your books with everyone. Thank you for letting me know that I can make a difference.

  • McKayla R.

    To Alex and Brett:

    Wow. I am a HUGE fan of your blog… It has been a while since I have logged on because school ya know. But anyway it is soooooo amazing. Are you planning on posting anything new soon? Also I have emailed you a couple of times, but it won’t go through… Any suggestions???
    O BTW!!!!! I am starting the 8th grade and I was wondering if there is like a good book of the bible for me to read to help me during the school year show Jesus

  • Malyssa

    To Alex and Brett,

    I read your book recently and was blown away. You guys have inspired me to put my writing skills to the test and I’m currently working on a book that i would someday like to publish. And even if it dosent get published, I was able to accomplish something that I thought was impossible. :)

  • Beatrice

    What you are saying is so true and profoundly sad. We expect teenagers to lounge through teenage with no clear responsibilities and at the same time throw them into the deep end of sexual activity which is very adult. Giving the message that no sexual responsibility is required of them yet the reality is that sex comes with responsibility. We send such mixed messages to teens that it’s a wonder some can think straight. I think it is time the church overhauled how we do youth ministry.

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  • Bert

    Bert Pizarro
    Great article to not let young adults and students to be limited in the potential they possess. They can make a difference once they rise up and break limitations.

  • Jorge Bermudez

    Very Inspiring , Loved the article!!

  • maya schuelie

    i completely agree with this article we all have life shackles the things that are holding us back are nothing than just a pice of string. we are more powerful than we think and we need to believe in are selfs in order to move forward.

  • Jared

    Great article it says what other young adults expect from themselves

  • alejandro montalvo

    i agree with jorge it is very inspiring

  • Andrea

    I think this article is great for teens because its showing how we think such little things are holding us from doing what we want to do. When in reality we can do so many things.

  • Eduardo Camareno

    This article should be presented to all young adults because it will open the lock of there shackles and let them free to explore and acomplish any thing they want in there life. Just like the young Navy admiral and George Washington did in a young age.

  • Alexandra Roman

    This article opened my eyes to alot of stuff. I dont understand why we have to grow up to fast. I really enjoyed reading the article!

  • alejandro galva

    this article is really good because it proves to all the young adults that they are capable of doing what they want do despite of their age. it helps them to think they can make a difference at the young age they have.

    • Mario Cardona

      bien echo amigo mio

  • Sergio Santiago

    It is a great article that teaches us that if we just look within our selves and break the limits that some people or sometimes we put on ourselves we can accomplish many things.

  • Juan Vargas

    I believe that “adolescents” are just young adults who still don’t know who they are and is their purpose in their life. Helping those young adults find that purpose might just eradicate the term of adolescence.

  • Mario Cardona

    This article has taught me that i have to fight for what i want to do in my life and that it is most important to know yourself. This also showed me that the younger generation is very strong and and can do anything they set there mind.

    • alejandro galva

      good good

  • Ana Luiza Schuch

    This article proves how weak we can be if we don’t believe in ourselves or don’t believe we are capable of great things, we can’t let society tell us what we can or can’t do. Most great people were told that they couldn’t do it, or they couldn’t be great but they kept following their dreams and now they’re recognized for it. People will always tell you can’t do it, but then it comes to you to decide if you want to be the elephant or if you want to be free.

    • Bert

      Very good interpretation. You can not let anyone dictate if you are going to be a tied down elephant or a free powerful elephant with ideas.

    • Sebastian Pons

      Comment
      XOXO

    • Pedro González

      Your comment is more powerful than John Cena’s theme music

      • Ana Luiza Schuch

        thank you pedro, i appreciate your encouragement

    • DANIELAA

      I LOVE THIS COMMENT! It is really inspirational, thank you for that

      • Ana Luiza Schuch

        you’re very welcome my dear classmate

        • Sebastian Pons

          You’re welcome, buddy old pal

  • Sebastian Pons

    This article is very inspiring. It shows how adults just ignore anything a teenager says because they are in the supposed stage of “adolescence”. This stage is merely defined by two numbers 12 and 18. Only at 18 are we allowed to become something greater than a high schooler or teenager. This article says what every teenager has in the back of their mind, but never really thinks about.

    • Ana Luiza Schuch

      i love your comment

  • DANIELAA

    This is a good and inspirational article. People should show this article to many other young adults. We can’t let people choose how our life is going to be or our beliefs. We can’t let them choose if you’re going to be tied down or if you’re going to be successful.

    • Ana Luiza Schuch

      i like your comment

    • Bert

      Your mind is powerful, let your ideas be heard.

  • Pedro González

    This articles shows how people always tend to do what society expects them to do. Cultural norms dictate that you must follow order, but the truth is these norms are just holding you back. We shouldn’t have to do what society tells us to do, we don’t need to be held back by that one branch we can easily kick off. We don’t need to be the elephant. We can do what we want to do, not what someone expects us to do.

    • Ana Luiza Schuch

      i appreciate your comment

      • Joaquin

        I like your comment, Ana it really gave me a better understanding on pedros comment

        • Ana Luiza Schuch

          thank you stranger, im glad i helped

  • Jan Orona

    This article just further proves of what teenagers are capable of. Adults often underestimate our capabilities and the things that we can achieve and do. Many older people also say that teenagers are not responsible to do many things that adults can do but this article just once again further proves that we can do a lot of things that adults can do. We need to show this to other young adults so that they can get inspired to stand up and say that they can do way more that people tell them they can do.

    • DANIELAA

      Very inspirational XOXO -DANIELAA

    • Bert

      Correct there are no limits. We place limits on ourselves or we allow others to place limits on us.

    • Ana Luiza Schuch

      we, teenagers, are where the future will be, if we are in chains, the future is in chains

  • Desiree

    This article is very persuasive and interesting. I agree that 13 to 18 year olds are not adults, but that doesn’t mean that we do not deserve respect. At that age is when we are growing and maturing, but all we want is to be treated equally and with respect. Some adults treat us as if we were inferior and yeah maybe that’s partly true, but it’s part of growing up. That doesn’t mean that they need to say it like we don’t know anything. We know more than we show. All adolescents ask is respect and equality.

    • Ana Luiza Schuch

      respect is the key! good job

    • Bert

      Correct, if you are respected you reserve the right to be heard.

  • Joaquin

    This is a article is about how you are able to overcome anything. It doesn’t matter what people think of you and put you down. This is all about being a adolescent. You shouldn’t have to follow trends and be someone your not. Much like the great Oscar Wilde once said “Be yourself, Everyone else is already taken” You should do what you are capable of doing and not what others expect. Set your own goals and achieve them!

  • Alfonso Perez Semanaz

    In this article I agree that teenagers think that they are less than what they really are. And that is all because they have an imaginary twig tied around them, that won’t let them explore other aspects of life and won’t let them know who they really are. Because ”adults” think that were are too immature and we cannot act like them is also what holds us back, so we teenagers have it hard in this stage of our lives.

  • Arianna Font

    This article is a very accurate description of how teenagers act the way they act nowadays. Growing up is very difficult and during that process, young adults tend to put limitations on themselves. Limitations that don’t allow the young minds of today to grow, learn, and discover new things. Teenagers can put limitations on themselves but also society puts a “set of rules” that they are expected to follow. Teens shouldn’t have to follow these rules. They should go their own way and do their own thing. They should break free from the shackles that are holding them and be free to believe in whatever they want to believe in and do something that they like to do in the future.

  • grace conrad

    I found this article to be a real eye opener. I had never realized how easy it is to just disregard our responsibilities, and then justify them with the fact that we are “teenagers”, and we do not have to face the duties of being an adult. It is easy and painless to simply believe that we cannot do anything that will really impact the world because we are teenagers, not only because this is the message society has put into our minds, but it also the simplest way to avoid the struggles of maturity.

    • Bert

      Don’t hesistate and do something great. Change the world

  • Milo

    Very interesting article. The comparison of a teenager and an elephant was something I had not seen before. It really opens my eyes to how teenagers are so used to the restrains of society.

  • anthony bernal

    i found that this article talks about maturity and adulthood, however i feel age doesn’t make you mature or make you an adult. There are grown men who will never grow out of a 16 year old body, if you are 40 and living in yours basement are you really a man or are you an adult with a child mind set. Maturity doesn’t come with age maturity comes with the decisions that you make and learning from those mistakes. Everyone will make mistakes in life and some will take a while to forgive but your maturity will get you through these hard times.

    • Bert

      Make the right decisions, they will define you in everything. Especially when it comes to love. When you don’t make a decision you are making a decision.

  • Juan Rivera

    This really tells us how adolescents are raising our generations. They should not tell us that we have a limit or that we should take it easy because we end up ruining our chances in the future. They should tell us we don’t have a chain holding us back so we can accomplish more instead of being lazy.

    • Bert

      Correct, step it up and don’t follow the status quo.

  • Alex

    This article was a very interesting one. You see, teenagers and/or young adults have an increasingly hard time at achieving society’s expectations, and this article gives us a simpler and more modified view into this very complicated issue. It gives sense to the thought of being able to achieve a challenge that seems impossible to others as young adults or even grown adults. If you want things, you must always be open to taking risks and giving before receiving. Only then will one be open to true success.

    • Bert

      You never ever lose wen you give. It is at the center of Gods heart and if you don’t take risks you are not living you are just existing. Keep giving and keep living Alex.

  • Armando Ramos

    We shouldn’t let society’s expectations hold us back and get in the way of our dreams.

    • Bert

      Do you have dreams? Are they written out clearly? Are you pursuing them? If not, brotha you are being held back like the elephant. 😉

    • Adriana Lopez

      True that!

  • Sabrina BC

    Just like the elephant, most young adult or teenagers are strong and powerful, we are at the beginning of the peak of our lives. We are supposed to have all this energy, positive attitude, and goals for our future ,but because so much is asked of many of us we restrain ourselves from doing what we want and being successful in the things we’re good at; not those things that society expects us to be good at. Don’t be the elephant and let your “owner”, society, control what you do and what you do not do, live your life and make it what ever you decide to.

    • Bert

      That’s right girl live it up! Don’t hesitate and do great things.

  • Adriana Lopez

    “Myth of the Adolescence” is an article based on the limitations that teenagers have. Teenagers are expected by society to be irresponsible because of our age. By limiting us, the amount of things that we can change or improve are very little. So how do other generations expect us to improve this world if we are being suppressed? Age does not define what someone is or not capable of and this article gives some great examples to prove this.

    • Bert

      You are more capable than you imagine. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You are amazing girl!

  • sofia silverman

    We expect little of ourselves because we think we cant do great things because of our age, but we can do anything we put ourselves up for we must have to put the effort into it, sometimes we feel being a teenager is a free pass to procrastinate but we have the capability to achieve our dreams in great capacities if we focus on that. The article explains how we shouldnt have any mental shackles holding us back, because we have the potential to break the twine from our lifes with a simple pull.

    • Bert

      Good summary, do you have shackles? Break your limitations with the help of God.

  • Ryan Wooldridge

    After reading this article the question that I’m left with is who or how are we taking action? This article calls out a flaw in society, the creation of “Adolescents”, and the restrictions that has placed on those deemed as adolescents or teenagers but doesn’t offer the solution. Is it expected of us to make the change? How can we when we’re restricted by laws and social standards? I know that I want to make the change but under every restriction around me It’s hard to find the opening to escape from. It’s the reason why I’m so excited to be 18, because at least by law then I have more freedom and I will have to rise from the lowered standards to make every expectation I have of myself. But then again, there are still restrictions that have been placed in society that hold me back from the expectations on myself. I want to break the generalization of society, I want to have purpose instead of following within the same herd that are accepting things as they come. Just because we’re in this generalized category of adolescents doesn’t mean that we have to follow the expectations that put us there, so break the twine.

    • Bert

      Bravo Ryan! Live up to it. Be the change, make the change and don’t hesitate. Start with what is around you and then it will fall into place. Know your goals and take risks for your dreams.

  • Gabriela Baez

    This article speaks the truth. “My contention is simple: The young adults of our generation are the elephant. Our twine is the 20th century concept of adolescence.
    Our twig is societal expectations.” is the part that got to me the most. If young adults were capable of many things in the past why are teenagers so held down today? Like an elephant stuck on his ankle by a twig, we are stuck by daily shackles. We are held down by societal expectations, yet we don’t notice that we can break free from this “twig”, and overcome it like any other obstacle of life.

    • Bert

      Enjoyed your comment, it depicts that you are articulate. Now its time to break the shackles in your mind. DON’T LISTEN OR THEM LIMIT YOU. You can give so much more

  • Natalia Mazzitelli

    People in this society have been accustomed to think that they have to behave in a specific way in order to be accepted or be looked at as important. At a daily basis we are exposed to oppression and criticism. We don’t realize the amount of pressure we put on ourselves apart from the obligations society already forces on us. This tendency has taken us to the point in which we,ourselves create limitations in our minds. We are so worried about judgement and having other people criticize anything thing we do, that we prefer to follow everyone else. It’s like we our puppets and society is pulls the strings. We have to learn how to do things for ourselves, how to stop trying so hard to impress others and focus on bettering who we are. If happiness and success is what you want, then find whatever it is you love and exceed in it. The only person stopping you from achieving your goal is yourself and it’s time we care less what others will say and begin to accept who we are human beings.

    • Bert

      Cheers for this comment. I can pick up your passion about not caring what others think. Be an advocate about to not live in the view of what others think, live for yourself. But you must first apply this, then live it.

  • Alexandra

    These restrictions were made up by society to hold us back, but it is up to us if you let your self be held back or you break free. No one determines what you can do or not, the only one who determines that is yourself. You can’t wait until there is a change in society because simply you will be waiting forever it is all about taking control of your own life and making your own choices based on your wishes
    -Maria Acosta

    • Bert

      Correct! Make wise decisions and choices because they can cost you your future and life.

  • Carla Lugo

    I believe that age is just a number and the term
    ‘teenager’ is just a title. Your age group shouldn’t cause you to limit yourself
    to the expectations of society. Many of us don’t set our minds to complete our
    dreams and put limitations on ourselves that don’t exist. Being a teenager is awkward and confusing
    because you have the capabilities and expectations of acting as an adult but
    not the freedom to doing so. If you can’t treat us as adults, how can you
    expect us to behave like one? Even though I say that, I don’t think that the
    way other adults treat you should be an excuse to behave irresponsibly.

    • Bert

      Don’t be limited by anyone not even yourself.

  • Claudia

    I found really interesting the way the article compares us to the elephants. Society puts some “restrictions” and generalizes in adolescents. I don’t believe that we are limited in achieving what we wish. If your dreams do not seem impossible than you are not dreaming. Not all adolescents are the same. Some have big goals to accomplish while others just believe it is a time or stage to just party and drink. This article has some very interesting examples that you might have applied to your life.

    • Bert

      Do you have your dreams? I agree with you, it is not a stage of life it is your life and your choices and decisions will determine your future.

  • Samuel Riegels

    The article is pointing out the limits that we have. Limits that we put on ourselves and each other. It is believed that if people think that they are going to have a good day they then would have a good day. It is the same for a person that thinks negatively that they will have a bad day, they then would have one. We have been told that we are not old enough to survive in the real world until we have finished school. This limits are way of thinking. This limits the way we process to measure how ready we are for life in the world. That is why the terms ‘teenager’ and ‘adolescence’ comes. People that limit us and us believing that we are not ready. People need to believe that they could survive the real world so that we can break free of the twin that is around us. People are naturally flawed but this gives us the capacity to rise above the flaws to become a greater people in the future.

    • Bert

      Sam, rise above you have it in you!

  • Keyla Torres

    We indeed sometimes play the roles of elephants that are held by society to grow strong and great. We are carry the potential and power to become what ever we wish yet society and its comment make us carry a huge burden that we can do stuff which makes us limit are stuff. Being a teenager will always come with its ups and downs. We have our freedoms yet we also have our dreams. Some times adults are the ones that damage those dreams we have because they think we still don’t have the age or potential to achieve what we want. We end up believing that lie but the truth is we can do whatever change we want in the world we just have to have our minds sets to it and not let any negative comment bring us down. We have to believe in our-self and decide if we are going to believe what people tell us of believe we have the power to do what we want. We will always face shackles in our life’s but its up to us to decide to break free or to just stay there and let people, society, or any situation held us down.

    • Bert

      How do you want to change your world?

  • Kal1331able

    It is true that society has come to expect things from teenagers, like immaturity and a sort of uselessness. And people at our age do have the capabilities to accomplish many big things and work harder than what we are expected to, but the way i see it, this period of time during teenage years are meant to be used to accomplish many smaller achievements and along those achieve things that can secure us as best of an adulthood as we can possibly get.
    -Pascual Aguilera

    • Bert

      What are your smaller achievements? do you have goals? are they clearly? are you working towards them?

  • Emily Abrehart

    I feel that this article is so relevant to todays generation. There are so many expectations as to what we can and can’t do and how we do it. There is so much pressure to be successful and to thrive that we don’t have time to just be ourselves and thrive on our own . The way the article compares teenagers to elephants is fascinating because in every way, it is relevant to how teenagers feel and how we react. I’ve now come to realize that our minds really do have limits and I have just now found mine, all shown through the story of these elephants. We have to release these shackles on our mind to be able to do what we really want to do and not feel personal pressure in any way. We need to be ourselves

    • Bert

      Excellent! Appreciate your comment and notice how articulate you are. Now that you have identified your shackle move forward to renew it with the correct thoughts.

  • nicole

    I like how this article compares us to the elephant. We are expected so much from society that sometimes we don’t stop and see the beauty of life and the opportunity that it gives us. I believe that you should do what you want to do and that you don’t have to prove yourself to anybody. Don’t limit yourself by what someone says. Instead go and prove them wrong. Be who you want to be and keep moving forward.
    -Nicole Acosta

  • Ricardo Sanchez

    “I soon discovered that it had little to do with the twine
    around the elephant’s ankle, and everything to do with invisible shackles
    around its mind.” (Alex & Brett Harris) Alex and Brett discovered the
    chains that really shackle us from our true potential. We are encumbered and
    weighed down by expectations that are set upon us by the social media. We are
    taught from the beginning when we are born that we officially become adults
    when we graduate from high school. We are taught that we are not prepared for
    the responsibilities of being an adult, that we are too young. Although, the
    immatureness and the irresponsibleness are the chains that bind us. We are
    capable, history has shown that. We just need the encouragement, to show us
    that we can break from the chains that bind us and finally become free.

    • Bert

      Bravo Ricardo, well said. Now don’t leave it in writing actually write history. You definitely got it in you!

  • Michael Trautmann

    Nowadays society has accepted the
    fact that adolescents are supposed to be irresponsible, lazy, careless, and
    immature. This ideology is cemented into our minds for the moment we gain the
    ability of recollection, until we die. The idea has become common place after
    TV, movies, books and any form of media has spread the idea. It is now rare to
    find a story about a child geniuses, now that concepts has been replaced with
    people coming to grip with their sudden responsibilities. This is a mental
    shackle that has been beaten down into our minds and the minds of our children
    until we have accepted it as fact. Even though, I believe that this is not the
    only shackle that exist in our minds. Other, such as time, money, and even acceptance,
    has caused everyone to stop perusing whatever goal they might be seeking. These
    shackles has been engraved in the surface of the brain, to the point where
    every decision we take, we consider these facts. The article addresses only the
    earliest one that affects us, but it is surely not the only one people have. In
    order break these shackle, we have to forget about them, and never teach them
    to our children.

    • Bert

      Kudos Michael. You gave a wonderful summary of this article and how it has hindered our youth and children. Be the change, “changed people change people.”

  • Yan Liang

    First of all ,we need to know that except Washinton, David Farragut, there were also thousands of common peaple who acted as adults when they were 13-18 years old as well in the past. But actually,those peaple, they were very common,they were not successful. They might live even worsely than the teenagers in nowadays society. Did they have twine and twig? According to this article,the answer is no. So, the author counldn’t prove that a 13 to 18 year old can behave as a responsible adult.
    What’s more, I think the conception of adolescence is the progress of psycology and society.Why should we deny it? -Yan Tong Liang

  • Anthony Diaz

    What is my shackle? What’s holding me back? I can’t put my finger on it. I’ve seen my own top performance, and can i say that if that were every second of my life, i know i’d be somewhere great already. So i ask again, What holds me back? It drives me mad just trying to point it out. I don’t think i’ve grown up with some kind of a “this is your fate, there’s no escaping it” principle, so where is my fault? I dream of greatness, i even strive for it, i thirst for it. I say no more limits, a more of a “screw you i do what i want” kind of attitude. Let’s keep morals and boundaries and stuff, but in the meantime “screw you i do what i want”. Perhaps one might think of their shackle as their own abilities. I don’t know, food for thought.

    • Bert

      Have you ever considered that what may be holding back is yourself? In the area of giving more of yourself to others. You are greatly talented and intellectual. A life without service to others is not a life worthwhile. in the words or our mentor “He who tries to save his life will lose it, but He gives his life away for the gospel and His name will find life.

  • Jojo Kerins

    After reading this article, I have an entirely new mindset towards the period of adolescence that is described as being our teenage years. It says that this concept of being in that awkward stage between childhood and adulthood is a fairly new concept to society. There only used to be the three simple stages of childhood, adulthood, and old age.
    I believe that the concept of adolescence was created as a way to excuse us teenagers when we make mistakes and make bad decisions. We excuse bad decisions with the excuse that young people aren’t mature and therefore don’t have the capacity to do the right things. I believe that society has put that idea in our heads which prevents us from achieving our full potential. The truth is that we can do everything that an adult can, but mental shackles tell us that we are supposed to make mistakes and act immature.
    You hear stories of young people achieving incredible goals which are thought to be impossible. They are completely possible, but the stigma that kids don’t have the ability to do major things acts as our twig and twine.

    • Bert

      Jojo, destroy all the shackles in your mind. Don’t hesitate for a minute, go for do great things and change your world.

  • Alejandro

    I believe that there are shackles holding us back but aren’t we our own shackles? Are we not the product of our actions? I think that we are both the elephant and the shackle. I also think that everyone has a distorted ideology of how adolescents should act and be today. People have slowly downsized their expectations of us and they think we are meant to be irresponsible, meant to be selfish, and meant to not do our best. I have done my best and when I do my best people realize the true potential I have; I realize the true potential I have and that is very important. One should know what one is capable of doing and one should always know that no matter what, you should give your best in any and in every situation. We make our shackles and society helps us supply negativity to that shackle and unfortunately more and more people give in to that shackle. This is why as time passes adolescents start to doubt themselves and by doing this they reinforce their shackles while not realizing it. Society should once and for all shape up and by doing this we can maybe bring back one of the most important concepts that we are not yet enforcing in ourselves; Responsibility, the most important attribute that adolescents these day lack. I accept that I lack this trait sometimes but I hope that I can enforce this on myself and prove to society that adolescents are responsible, they can do their best, and that they can make the right choices.

    • Bert

      Great Alejandro, society will probably continue to place labels on everything and everyone but be that revolutionist that does not conform to status quo but transforms to above the normal.

  • Ella

    I believe that everyone has a few shackles and some people might not know about them or want to come clean about them but that doesn’t mean they are not there. This article puts it into very clear perspective and gives you a really good idea and picture of how your “shackles” can really bind you and stop you from achieving great things. The elephant was very able to just break the string and be free but because of its “shackles” and fear of getting cut by the no longer present chain around its ankles it was stuck in that position. This is a very clear scenario in which people should learn from and take away that you shouldn’t let your “shackles” get the best of you and hold you back.

  • Ksénia.J

    This is a intresting vision of teenager and the example are real the only limite we have in the world is nothing our age the limite of age are creat by the actual society and the society leverange the limite who we have in our brain

  • Michelle

    Everyone’s concept or view of teens in the 20th century is that all of us drink, smoke, and love to party. People judge because of the things they hear or see, and they make generalizations. I believe that just because a big percent of teens are interested in these things it doesn’t necessarily mean that all of us are. There is a famous quote frequently used in Puerto Rico “Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres” I believe this quote is accurate, but many times is used out of context. This is used many times by parents when they find out things your friends do. I strongly think that just because we have friends that enjoy doing particular things it doesn’t necessarily mean we
    enjoy doing those things. Many people expect us to be perfect while we are in a
    stage of maturing and learning from our mistakes. It is hard to achieve things
    when you have no motivation, the general concept of teens may be a shackle to
    those who actually care and believe that they have a future. It is very
    difficult to achieve your goals or dreams when people are constantly bringing
    you down by saying all the teens are the same. You will be surprised to find
    the diversity in this society.

    • Bert

      Good observation, they will always be critics. Champions know how to rise above the critics and soar. Let the turkeys walk around and criticize your soar like an eagle and break the limitations.

  • Mónica Rivera

    Nos dicen que nos comportemos como adultos pero nos tratan como niños. La sociedad y hasta en nuestros propios hogares nos ponen el estereotipo de que no somos lo suficientemente grandes para hacer ciertas cosas pero nos demandan más de lo que estamos acostumbrados hacer. En mi situación siempre fui dicha que no hiciera nada malo, que fuera educada y la más que marco mi vida fue: “No cometas errores”. Desde niña escuchando esas frases cada vez que iba de camino a la escuela no era lo mejor. Todos cometemos errores y siempre aprendemos de ellos de una manera u otra. El punto es que nosotros los adolescentes estamos atados a ciertas limitaciones que la gente nos impone falsamente y la verdad es que podemos hacer mucho más de lo que lo que pensamos. Podemos ser seres independientes y ganar batallas ‘imposibles’ para el resto de la sociedad.

    • Bert

      Eso eh!! No puede permitir que la cultura, amistades ni familia te impongan cosas que no es tu carácter. Rompe todo limite y palabra negativa sobre ti. Y mira en lo que Dios dice de ti por que es lo real. Vaya adelante en tus sueños y metas con todo tus fuerzas. Hay potencial y excelencia en ti.

  • Rocio Natalia

    Here’s my opinion. Adolescents are not taken as seriously as the somehow “better knowing” adults. Yes, chances are that an older person should have been through more experience to learn from. Which, in theory, should make them more capable of making better, more informed decisions. Only problem is that that’s not always the case. It’s very possible that a ten year old can have more knowledge about the world and the people in it than a thirty year old. Perhaps because the ten year old just seemed to pay more attention to his surroundings and the thirty year old never thought to care. So it would make sense to ask the person who knows more about the world for their input on a related issue. Adolescence does not determine a persons capability to do things. That depends on their emotional, mental, and physical state.

    • Bert

      Way to go.

  • Adriana

    Everybody has some type of mental shackle that restrict us from greatness. Whether it’s peer pressure, family, depression, self-consciousness, or whatever, there will always be invisible shackles restraining us. People say that it’s okay. That it’s fine to act childish because we’re only teenagers. But just because we’re teenagers doesn’t mean we get a free pass. We can still assume the responsibility of adults. And these mental shackles surely make things worse. That is why we must overcome these shackles to be able to achieve the best of what the world has given to you.

    • Bert

      Correct Coco. Do you know you know your shackles? As I mentioned in the last class.”The more you know yourself the sooner you will be on the road to help yourself. The longer you delay to know yourself the longer you will be lost.” Destroy the shackles Coco and do great things.

  • Scott

    we all share one common thing and that is self doubt, whether it what we think of our selves or what we think others think about us. But just because there are limitation doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself. If there’s a wall in your way just break it down. go forward like a drill, never stop believing in yourself!

    • Bert

      Awesome Scott! Good vantage point on self doubt either from within or others. Don’t give up on breaking down the walls. Hold on the sledge hammer until it gets frozen on to your hand. Do great things its in you.

  • Vanessa Moise

    We have so much pressure on us because of our parents, friends, teachers, or anyone in our life. We try our best to be what society wants us to be but in my opinion, we should do what we want and be who we want to be. We shouldn’t try to get everyone to like us or try for people to accept us. The only opinion that matters is what we think about ourself. “Do what you want to do because at the end people are going to end up judging you anyways” Just because we are teens doesn’t mean we aren’t capable of doing many amazing things.

  • wilson

    Our shackles imprison us to become weaker and hopeless, but with a little faith, hard work, and never giving up we can show that were more than just lost causes. The only way we can get out of our shackles is by never giving up because with the help of God nothing is impossible. If we all see each other our shackles wright now are expectations and we tend to get nervous because of what’s expected of us, but we never stop for a moment and ask our selves what do I want my expectations to be, that way we will now how too break our shackles.

    • Bert

      Correct never give up!

  • al martinez

    When your down and cant get up and people say to believe in yourself and you cant, then do something better, don’t believe in yourself, believe in the person that believes in you, because that person puts their faith and trust in you, and the last thing you want to do is fail that person. If there’s a risk, then take it, because if its what you want, it’ll be worth it in the end.

    • Bert

      Believe Al, you got what it takes to run with the giants and influencers. When you believe in others they win, when you believe in yourself everybody wins.

    • Bert

      :)

  • sebastian

    believe in yourself. not in the you who believes in me. not the me who believes in you. believe in the you who believes in yourself.

    • Bert

      Yes! When you believe in others they win, when you believe in yourself everybody wins.

  • Sebastian Lima

    I believe that the example with the elephant is basically saying that we have great potential ,which anyone of us could use, but we limit ourselves because of expectations, loss of hope or a lack of belief in ourselves that we can accomplish our goals. We teenagers are limiting ourselves because we may believe that since we are just ”big children” or “young adults” that don’t have the same freedom and responsibility of an adult even though we may want to and can be an adult but aren’t one that we can still act like children and be immature and irresponsible. I understand that in the past some “older children” have had important and larger amounts of responsibilities because there was no other choice but for them to grow up to survive but now, in the present, since we aren’t forced to grow up at a young age we believe that we don’t have to be responsible people. Basically we can be responsible adults,but since we expect every teen and ourselves to be immature and irresponsible then we become what we expect.

    • Bert

      Good comment Sebastian!

  • caterina soto

    How society has given a term to define adolesence when in the past that did not exist and you could have been sucessfull at a very early age. Since we have the title of teenager that makes us in society not fully mature or responsible as an adult could be.

  • Andrea Colón

    Sometimes what people expect from you isn’t exactly something you can offer. Everyone is different and although some teens already have their whole future set, some others are still trying to find out more about their interests, their strengths, their weaknesses, and maybe even them selves. People’s expectations sometimes ruin you because you try to be who they want you to be and you aren’t who you want to be. You should always be yourself and forget about all the expectations and even forget the shackles you have that are in your head because you can accomplish anything you set your mind to do.

    • Bert

      Correct Andrea be yourself because its your life to live.

  • Jose A R

    adolescents have bin underestimated like the elephant we have this chain that holds us in our place ‘invisible shackles around it’s mind’ that chain can be broken because we are like the elephant strong and powerful as easy as a piece of ‘twine’ we have so much potential but it has not bin used and we could break free at any time

    • Bert

      Correct Jose at any moment you can being to change your mind and break free from the shackles. Take the courage and make the step to begin your transformation.

  • Josette Pascual

    First of all lets all agree that no matter what our age is, we could be the most immature and irresponsible human being on earth at the age of 13 or even 36. Age is not an excuse. We are who we are and we behave like we want to and sometimes not like we should. A shackle that I could easily pick up that is most common on our society now a days is that our society criticizes us on how we act and puts on us a label that defines us as the contrary person we really are. Society puts us on a difficult position on how we should be and on how they want us to be. Society will proceed on giving labels on everyone and everything but we have to proceed on our lives and prove them wrong on how they think of us. We are much more than what people think or say about us. Break this shackle and run free. Be who you are and present to the world what an outstanding human being you are. Do not limit yourself. Anything is possible.

    • Bert

      BRAVO. Very well expressed and nothing with God is impossible. Live your dreams.

  • Ralph Delgado

    Teenagers are taken for granted. They see them like irresponsible and not capable of great things, but teenagers today have that thought in their mind and those are their shackles they think they can’t do amazing things because thats the way they other people see them and they keep that in their mind which creates insecurity, being negative, or having a low self-esteem. We are capable of anything.

  • Sabrina Gimenez

    This article really opened me into a new perspective because it shows me that now a days im being expected so much less like adults are making such a low standard for adolescents its kind of even rude because we are capable of doing so much more but us adolescents we dont see that. we can do so much more but because of the low expectacions adults have on us we dont do anything.

  • Max

    Wow! I honestly expected to find this boring when I was told read this, but it really opened my eyes. Modern day society is limiting us under meaningless titles. Therefore, preventing us from reaching our true potential, or at least, slowing us down, making the journey to reach it unnecessarily longer. I’m honestly impressed.

  • Ana

    As teenagers, we are taught to keep things to ourselves and to keep to our levels. We are told that we don’t understand things or we can’t decide things for ourselves because we are too young and we don’t have the maturity or mentality to do so. After reading this article, I came to realize that we teenagers are the elephants. We are the strong incredible creatures that can do anything they want, but yet something is holding us back. Our insecurities hold us back, the fact that we want to fit in society and are afraid of being judged. We are afraid of own imperfections without realizing that they make us stronger. Age is a number that we ourselves define. There is a physical age and there is a mental age. The mental age is most important because it is what makes us who we are. Adolescence has nothing to do with stupidity. Just because you are young it doesn’t mean you don’t know anything about love or how life works. We all live different lives and go through different experiences, I believe that these experiences are what make us strong. Age is just a number time defines, and time is a concept created by man.

  • kacymacy

    I agree, I find myself to have many shackles that avoid me from doing my work right, these shackles can impact our life in many ways, maybe not all of us might have this but a great percentage does. Thanks to these shackles we create it makes us think we cant do things without even trying it out.

  • amanda menoyo

    This article really opened my eyes because it showed me a new point of view of my life. I thinks that the teenager have some better ideas than the adults because the teenager are more aware about what is happening now a day, the adults have a different point of view than ours. i agree with the message that this article is giving to us.

  • Ricardo

    This article points out a big problem we are facing today. Most people are underestimating teenagers now a days. This is why many of us have shackles in our minds; because society creates them for us. They simply tell us we can’t or that we’re not good enough. They’re wrong. Haven’t we proven it to them already? What adults don’t realize is that we are much more than what they think we are. Anyone one has the power and ability to make a change in the world. You simply have to set your goals forward and pursue them with determination. With enough determination, we can easily break our shackles or limits that sometimes hold us back. This will allow us, at the same time, to live much more peacefully and in a much more stress- free way. All we have to do is change the way society perceives us teenagers by proving them wrong once again!

    • Bert

      There will always be critics and naysayers, but rise above and be the change. Don’t let others determine the greatness harnessed with in yhou

  • Alexandra

    This articles shows me how teenager is just a label really, you can not depend on age to know how you are or what you are capable of. It all depends on the mind set and maturity of yourself. How you know yourself and demonstate that u can accomplish your dreams. The only limitations in your life are the ones you don’t face.

  • Bryan Luis Rodriguez Ruiz

    This article talks about how we limit ourselves based on age and how others don’t believe we can do things based on our age. Life is about the decisions we make not the decisions others make for us. We should never limit ourselves to what others say and always follow our dreams or aspirations.

  • Ariadna Gomez

    I like this article because say the true about how we “live”, like we dejamos that others saidwhat we shoud do, and some people don’t let is to be original.

  • manuel morales

    society has expectations for us and then they make fun of us when we don’t reach it but what they don’t undressing is that everyone is different and we all have are own problems. Each of us deal with are problems differently but that is what makes us who we are. everyone should brace are own shackles.

  • Adrian Correa

    The article is being very true about the way we are considered teenagers and treated like we aren’t mature enough to do somethings while we show the maturity of one and not respected like one as well.

    • Jorge Bermudez

      Thats very true!

  • ROBLES

    i agree with this article about adolescence, many young people our age limit their abilities as bright young adults and this a great issue that can be fixed. The reason we are this way is because even adults think we can’t do it. They put shackles in our minds that keep us from doing things that they do, but we all know we can. Well, not all of us and thats the problem.

  • Leonardo Cordero

    After reading this article, I realized something that I have never realized before. These days, society closes the doors for teenagers and keeps them from doing anything for themselves. They don`t give what we call, teenagers, the necessary responsibilities that they should have, like 100 years ago. Its incredible, how more than 100 years ago, people were given so much responsibilities at such a young age. The important thing about having responsibilities and duties at such a young age is that people mature faster, and do things right since such an early age.

  • Adrian Machado

    This article changed my perception not only towards my self but towards my friends or peers as well. It fascinates me when I see the incredible potential that teenagers have at such a young age. However, its disappointing to know that society can obscure your powerful minds and abilities with so easily. Us teens, have the right and will to escape our comfort zone and surpass those of the older generation.

  • Alejandra Betancourt

    I really like this topic because to be young is an important chapter in your life,that you have to keep in your heart and also in your memories. We know on this age we have a lot of things that we have to think but that’s not an excuse to be closed-minded, or stay in “your world”. You can ask to someone to help you don’t be afraid and this things will help you to grow up. And you have to break your chains to be free and have the life that you want.

  • Diego Rosado

    Teenagers, in this century, are compelled to have the attributes of an adult, but at the same time not have their responsibilities and freedoms. Teenagers, which are between the ages of 13-18, are held back by society and they aren’t able to excel in life. It is proven by history that we can progress and invest in the life we want to have at the stage of a teenager. The only thing keeping us from doing that is the invisible shackle we have in our minds that doesn’t allow us to do these things. If we come out of this comfort zone we could begin with the next stage in life, but this could make you an outcast. Maybe being an outcast is what will spark the generation of teenagers which will be able to have the responsibilities of and adult.

  • Chassidy Kaspar

    Good suggestions . Apropos if others require a a form , my kids filled out and faxed a blank document here http://goo.gl/Kj5RIj

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