What’s the big deal about young people being responsible?

July 10, 2008

First I must confess that my oldest son and I have finished reading the first 3 chapters of Do Hard Things!  Peyton is 10 and has really enjoyed the book so far.  He may participate with us in the discussion. 

Second, has anyone stopped to think after reading any of the book, “What’s the big deal about young people being responsible?” “Why is this so important?”  In his book titled, The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen, Robert Epstein said had the following to say about the importance of responsibility,

In a word, it’s because responsibility brings out our best.  Responsibility is a powerful motivator.  It makes us push ourselves harder, perform better, and care more.  Without responsibility, most people turn to jelly (pg. 284).

Not only is this the case, but Dr. Epstein quotes studies that confirm “Young people who have learned to handle responsibility are more effective in their lives…[and] that the younger we are when we learn to handle responsibility, the greater the sense of social responsibility we have as teens” (pg. 285). 

Responsibility elicits the best from children, young adults, and adults.  It seems as if it can be compared to the carrot on the stick before the donkey.  It is there before us, beckoning us closer, to push harder, perform better, and to care more for others rather than ourselves.  

In quoting M. Scott Peck (as found in Dr. Epstein’s book pg. 285),

Problems call forth our courage and our wisdom; indeed, they create our courage and our wisdom.  It is only because of problems that we’ve grown mentally and spiritually.

By substituting responsbility with problems we would be lead to conclude the same thing. 

On a final note about taking responsibility, considerRead the rest of this entry »

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