A TEEN’S PLEA ON LISTENING
I want to close now by reading a letter. Here is a modern example of the tragedy of not listening, a modern example of the measure you measured with being measured back to you.
In this particular case, it’s a college girl pleading with parents to listen. But I think I have already said enough to indicate that it has to work both ways. This just happens to be an example of a young person pleading with us to listen, and it summarizes what I have been trying to say. "Dear Sir," begins this letter to the editor of "Time" magazine, "Thank you for your recent article on being an American parent. How I wish every parent and future parent would read it and take it to heart.
I love my parents and I know they love me, but they’ve ruined my life. Your paragraphs under ’listen’ very well sum up what I am trying to say. I could never tell my parents anything. It was always, "I’m too busy. I’m too tired. That’s not important. That’s stupid. Can’t you think of better things. Your friends are wrong. They’re stupid."
As a result, I stopped telling my parents anything. All communication ceased. Oh, we had love prompted on my side by an ever-present fear of my mother, and prompted on their side by the thought that I was their responsibility--and if I went wrong, they would be punished by God.
After four rotten years in a girl’s school (I did have two or three wonderful teachers), I’m now stuck in an even worse woman’s college. Only the best for me. They knew I didn’t want to come, but they made me anyway. Their daughter wasn’t going to be corrupted. I had already been saved from the evils of early dating and from doing the things ’everyone else did.’
What is the result of this excellent upbringing? I’m eighteen years old. I drink whenever I get the chance. I have smoked pot and I am no longer a virgin. Why? Was it my parents or just me?
I’m so very confused. But who can I talk to? Not my parents. My parents could read this letter and never dream it was their daughter. I have only one important plea to parents: listen, listen and listen again, please. I know the consequences, and I am in hell."
(From a sermon by Bobby Bodenhamer "Listen to Love" 12/27/2008)
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