Teen Talk; Finding one’s ‘true north’ in life is important

Everyone knows that a compass will point you north, right? I mean, unless one stands by a car or strong magnetic force, it is widely known that the compass is an invaluable tool for navigation and map work. Funny how often people just assume that this amazing piece of equipment is completely right.

The compass does not point to true north. Without getting too technical, the compass actually points to earth’s magnetic North Pole, which is around 1,000 miles south of the actual North Pole somewhere over Canada. And even more astonishing, if one were to adjust for “declination” (the angular deviation from the North Pole) in San Diego, one would need to adjust for 12.5º on the compass!

Excerpt from Betty Williams’ article in the Friday Flyer- Read morehttp://fridayflyer.com/2015/10/09/teen-talk-finding-ones-true-north-in-life-is-impor


What do you like best about yourself?

sun behind cloud

Teens like a wide variety of things about themselves. Being able to entertain friends or having a nice personality come to mind for several of the teens I talked with. If you are fun to be around, you will be popular and never lacking for company. Did you ever wonder what makes you attractive to others? It’s not so much what you look like. Being very pretty or handsome might even make others jealous.

A researcher in the nineteen sixties studied what people look for in a friend. The number one quality is being able to listen. If you can keep your mouth shut when you need to, hear what someone is saying, and understand how that person feels, you will be very much in demand. As Amy puts it, “I have the ability to put myself in others’ shoes.”

Some see their sense of themselves as their best quality. Ellie says, “I know who I am and stick with my values.” This is not always easy to do. You have to think about what’s important to you and decide that what you believe in is more important than making others happy.

Did you know it’s impossible to keep everyone happy? No matter what you do, there will be some people who like what you do and others who don’t. If you follow your own sense of values, you will attract friends who respect what you believe in. You probably wouldn’t enjoy the company of others who don’t share your values anyway.

Can you imagine having a friend who changes his or her mind all the time? Maybe you have a friend like this. You never know what to expect and probably wouldn’t be able to count on that person for anything important. Being consistent in your values makes it easier for you to decide what to do when something really important happens. It also helps your friends know what to expect from you. Consistency is probably the most important quality of a good friend after being a good listener.

Other teens like their physical qualities such as their appearance or sports ability. As with personality, these might be just as much a reason for others to be jealous as to like you. However, what is important is that your physical appearance or sports ability might give you some confidence which you might not otherwise have. Your self confidence just might attract others more than your special abilities or appearance.

(Excerpt from Make the Best of Your Teen Years: 105 Ways to Do it.)

Only- a poem for teens



A poem by Violet

I have never loved
only wanted
to wrap myself in other skin,
hide my eyes behind another face.

I have only wanted
a better soul than mine,
a graceful body, a strength,
and certainly this flesh could never have.

I have longed
for a patchwork, an alloy
of the pure, intelligent, the solid
a melting pot of my unobtainable traits.

I have watched,
as if I could adapt my observation,
the movements of perfection
that I wished were mine.

I have envied
affectionately from a distance
I can’t imagine coming any closer.


Violet writes about longing for “a patchwork, an alloy of the pure, intelligent, the solid a melting pot of my unobtainable traits.” She is trying to figure out how all the things she knows about herself can come together in a way that makes sense to her. We are all creatures of contradictions. We have rough edges and have parts of us we wish were different.

(Excerpt from Make the Best of Your Teen Years.)