Stunningly Unloving Advice

It’s great to work day in and day out in a large institution where 80% of the people involved are teenagers.  An open window on to humanity. Here’s what I’ve seen:

They’re absolutely amazing…

and unbelievably awful.

Don’t misunderstand me.  It’s not at all that there are some awful ones, and other amazing ones, and we can draw two columns and assign each their place.  No.  Not a bit of it.  They are all awful, and all absolutely amazing, all at once.

They’re incredibly creative, and worringly corrupt. Outrageously lazy, and also diligent leaders. Tremendously talented, and still prone to tantrums. Cruel and caring. Rude and repentant. Gifted and gross. Inspiring and exasperating. Proud and petrified. Lust fuelled and love formed. Brilliant and boring. Beautiful and boisterous. Defiant and delightful, at times delightfully defiant. All at once.

In short, they’re very human.

Us adults are exactly the same. Maybe some areas of our character are a touch more cultivated, and we’ve certainly got more competent at the art of the cover up but we’re all inescapably human.

So, although sentiments like, “Just be true to yourself” and it’s relations, contain some truth and make for great pop lyrics.  Given as a primary guide to life it is stunningly unloving advice.

Which bit of myself do you want me to be true to?

A roomful of 14 year old boys lead by their feelings could be heroic, but it could also be horrendous.

The same with 44 year olds.

We are dark and lovely.

“Repent and believe” is what love came and yelled.


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