This month is our teen issue. We invited some local teens for our cover photo and it was amazing to see how much potential these young men and women truly possess. For our photo shoot, we met at Humanitree House and I had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners, Baruti Tucker or Brother B., as he is affectionately known. Brother B. and his wife Denise own and operate Humanitree House and they have a good thing going. Brother B. shared a thought provoking sentiment with me that day. He said, “Humanitree House started as an idea that evolved into a concept, that evolved into a culture. Culture meaning…You walk in as people and you leave as a human being.”

I thought of a similar idea from French philosopher, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin who said, “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

This got me to thinking of today’s teens and whether they think about the bigger questions of life. Do teens think the meaning of life is the acquisition of stuff? Is it about chasing achievement and thrills or do they seek meaning outside of the material world?

Without a doubt, the answers would be as varied as the teen you are talking to. Spirituality is a very personal matter but adults can have a significant influence on how willing a teen is to pursue and explore the bigger questions of life. When parents affirm and accept their children’s desire to find a bigger meaning of life, they provide a more conducive environment for a child to explore and discover their spiritual identity. What do  you say to an adolescent who is getting ready to face feelings of inferiority, peer pressure, puberty, sexual development, romantic love, overcoming discouragement, sound decision making and handling independence? I think we should encourage our teens to take a spiritual journey to find out who they are, what their place in the world is and how to come to peace with  life. Rarely is the purpose of a spiritual journey to find all the answers, but instead it is both a human and spiritual journey.

Until October,

Renee Williams

This article appears in the September 2018 issue of Augusta Family Magazine.
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