03 May 2006

What if we empowered teenagers?

We all have our own reasons for doing what we do.

We live in an ever-changing world. For us, the world adopts new principles every day and this enables us to grow. Things evolve and branch out from what they once were to take on new meanings. Whether these meanings describe socio-cultural or religious traditions, or self-image enhancements, is another story. It is likely that, in the hustle and bustle of a world that stresses the importance of self-image and expression (and that it does!), many traditional meanings and behaviour will be lost.

In this milieu, we have our teenagers – shaping their world, making sense of it all – bravely facing the options we present to them.

Teenagers are not too different from the rest of us. They also want to connect with people – interact with others. They want to be recognised for who they are and what they do. They want to be entertained like we do. Be inspired like we do. We just have to invest the time to meet them where they are. Teenagers, or anyone for that matter, are empowered by knowing that they are valued, that they contribute.

These words are not entirely mine; they are borrowed from Josh Shipp’s philosophy of entertaining, inspiring and empowering teenagers.

Josh Shipp, no longer a teenager, is a motivational speaker for the youth. He writes books on teen development, and has recently started an inspirational film company called Empower Films™ whose mission is to create relevant short films that entertain, inspire, and empower teenagers. Josh’s personal story of triumph over tragedy (abandoned, neglected and abused as a child) inspires youth to overcome life’s struggles and live life to the fullest.


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