Teen Attitude And Perspective On Life and Living

Adopting A Teen Perspective On Life and Living

Adults can learn a great deal from teens. During the adolescent years, teens often observe in us (adults) everything that they don’t want to be. And, quite often their observations are exceptionally on target. The looking glass by which teens and adolescents view the world is often lost on the rigid lenses of the adult mind and visions of the world.

Let me give you a wonderful everyday example into the perspective of the teen mind. I was getting onto the Los Angeles freeway to make my lengthy trek downtown when I got stuck in a notorious LA traffic jam. Making every attemp to do my mindful awareness destressing “stuff”, for whatever reason wasn’t working this time.

Then, something beautiful happened. I stopped the storm of thoughts in my mind and emotional consequences thereof, long enough to rest my eyes and focus on the car in front of me.  Three older teenage girls where singing and dancing to their hearts content while waiting in the traffic – full of JOY, positive expression and completely ignoring the WORST of what was going on around them! How perfect. I also noticed the myriad of irritated adult faces behind the windows of nearly every other car around us -unhappy, angry, grouchy and clearly not loving life. What a tragic contrast.

The adult thing to say would be “sure, they can do that, they’ve got nothing to worry about”. No responsibilities or lives to take care of like we do – right? Wrong! Think about it for a moment.  Your teen is entering into the most transformational and profound time of their life – loaded with land mines and many things that they could worry about.

If you were to mindfully observe what the teen mind, brain and body is really undertaking and accomplishing, you’d be astounded! For the first time in their young lives, they will be leaving everything thing that is safe and secure as they head off to college or move away from home.  They are also leaving everything they have ever known – family, home, environment, financial security, friends, etc.

How many of you would feel depressed or stress at leaving the security of your established family, job or friends. Our teens are venturing out into the world without a job or a big savings to fall back on. How many parents could pick up and go like that without stressing to the max? Teens are aware of the reality that’s ahead of them, which is to fully support themselves after they leave the nest. This is an enormous responsibility for a young mind to handle. How many parents (without a job, no savings, no retirement plan, and recently just left an entire family) would feel excited about such a prospect? None! In fact many would be reaching for the nearest pill bottle or drink to take of the sting off life.

But not the teen! They dance in the car exhilarated by the joy of life and living. They see and do what we adults have forgotten – to play and find joy and levity in any situation. Perhaps they know the secret to life ~ which is that we create our own happy moments and joy, despite what is happening around us.

We clearly have a lot to learn from the amazing mind and behaviors of teens.  So, dance and sing like a teen and see if you don’t feel better.  I did. And it completely dissolved the misery of my commute. Did I look silly? Absolutely! Which only added to the smile on my face. “Thank you” teens for reminding me to enjoy myself…. even when life presents me with a traffic jam.


Young and happy couples having great quality time in the city streets.

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