“Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith, and purity.” — I Timothy 4:12

SOMETIMES, when our elders give opinions that clash with ours, we find it very to reason out and tell them they are wrong out of respect for them. And when we do speak up, we get pounded by a hail of reprimands and sometimes hurtful words, or are simply ordered to shut up. They usually say, “You are still young, listen to us first.”

This is the usual dilemma of the youth especially in homes where the father is the dominant figure.

Before, I used to keep quiet when my dad says things about politics and religion that were against my beliefs. And every time I offered my opinion, I felt humiliated when he insisted on his side and did not to listen.

It also irked me whenever I presented my career options to my parents because they would get irritated if my plans didn’t conform to what they wanted. I felt put down.

Once, I wrote them a letter telling them that I , I told them why I feel bad when they dictate my actions, and what I really feel, that I really love them and I respect their opinion, yet I too am grown up and I have some opinions that may not agree with theirs, but which I think are right.

Well, that simple letter has not been taken up in a conversation. But I persevere in trying to be extra helpful, listening to their opinions, spending time with them, and courteously giving my side.

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I have realized that they are simply there to advise and guide me; that they love me too much to always let me have my own way in discussions in order to teach me what is right.

Yet taking comfort from the Holy Bible’s words, I realize that maybe I should change the way I act, and understand my parents more. Looking at their perspective, it could help me clarify why they say things the way they do.

By talking to them without being in a combative mood makes conversations at the dinner table more peaceful. In this way, I can be assertive yet respectful of my parents.

My graduation is drawing near, and I will soon look for a job like many others. I surely wouldn’t want my career to be dictated upon, nor my actions be controlled, just because people think I am young and I don’t know any better.

I feel that I could very well apply these principles I just learned in the field of work I’ll enter soon. Understanding, listening and taking a stand—they make a dynamic combination of values that will surely help me, even if other older people will seem to look down on me because of my youth.

Prayer: Dear God, thank you for the gift of youth and idealism. Please give me courage to stand up for what is right and do good to others. Help me to set a good example not only to my fellow youth but to the elders so that I may gain their respect and trust. Make us always child-like and not childish. Amen

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