Faith Factor | Spiritual growth for healthy teens?

Margie Meyer Seehuetter
Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. – I’ve been frustrated when the community has called our school board to address the overwhelmed, angry, depressed, and suicidal young ones with in our schools. I see them concerned enough to hold public forums, seminars, presentations, open the High School Wellness Center, have systems in place to help our children when we see any reason for alarm, and they and other local organizations have graciously paid for it all.

Yet we are fooled to think we can ignore the spiritual well being of our students to treat the symptoms of a much deeper issue: Their spirituality is suffering. The family, schools, and community can do a better job in nurturing a well-balanced child or teen. We can’t afford to try to separate the student’s spiritual self from the emotional and physical self.

I know many people in our community who would support spiritual development, through the teaching of values, virtues, and character than those few who would oppose it because it is too assuming to think everyone has a spirit or soul. It may be offensive perhaps illegal to bring such a program to our public schools. Have we become fearful of being “too American?” Or think we may offend an atheist or agnostic to the point where we must submit to their intolerance of the very beliefs this nation was founded?

We can be the change by acknowledging and embracing we are all imperfect. Let’s begin by developing communities, whether it be family, church, school, team, or organizations where to advise, control, lecture, judge and protect are not always as welcomed as the sharing of experiences of failure, doubt, fear or mistrust. Through examining the heart, we can be free to open and nurture the soul.-

I like it when I am able to share my secrets of imperfections with others.- It’s risky, but opens the door of trust. Would it be okay to define and give examples of this word in the classroom? Is this not spiritual development?- Can it lead to examining other words like honor, awareness, integrity, humility, and love?

The goal I think would be to share with such heart as to provide the ultimate safe space to embrace our imperfections and mistakes so to learn and grow from them emotionally, spiritually and socially. It would be more beneficial to our children, families, and communities if we had banners around Truckee which read, “In God We Trust,” “God Blesses America and You,” or “Talk With, Not To Your Children.”

The questions we can ask ourselves are: “How badly do we want our children to be spiritually and emotionally fit to live life abundantly?,” “Do we believe in something bigger than ourselves, and if so, can we compassionately put our constitutional right to express our spirituality in public?”

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