Today’s Youth And How They Deal With Grief And Unfortunate Events

Hello everyone!  This was week three with my young adult group here today in Detroit, Michigan. Our social dynamic or topic of  dialogue for the week was based upon grief and unfortunate events.   I provided each youngster a  self -analysis sheet with ten statements on how to deal with grief and unfortunate events.  The directions were to partner up with someone in the class and take turns asking one another how they felt about the 10 statements. They were instructed to  place either a capital A for appropriate or capital I for inappropriate next to the statements.

Shortly afterwards, I asked  the group to take the same list and to conduct a self-analysis on theirselves.  Sadly, most of  the youngsters in my group had experienced some type of unfortunate event of some kind.  In-fact, one of my young ladies had lost her mom by the age of 12, and one of my young men had lost his brother at  a rather young age as well.

  After the self-analysis was completed, we conducted a “Round Robin.”  The purpose of this was see how many young men and women felt or believed that crying was an appropriate or inappropriate way to  heal from either losing a loved one or getting pass an unfortunate event.  My young ladies stated that it was appropriate for them to cry.  They even mentioned that it was appropriate for adults to cry however, the majority of them believed that it was inappropriate for young men to cry.  For some reason, I predicted that the young men results would be the same.  Guess what?  They were.   

The majority of my young men stated that crying was inappropriate and they prefered to deal with unfortunate events in other ways. Some mentioned that they just simply preferred to distance themselves from people until they felt better. Other’s mentioned methods that I refuse to respond on due to confidentiality issues.

Knowing that most men from the time they are boys are taught to never cry or show signs of emotion, I explained to them that I understood their reasons in regards to the responses they provided.  However, the teacher in me explained to them that crying is an emotion provided by God and that  our tears represent the release of situations which result to us healing.   After explaining that,  maybe one or two of the young men understood or agreed with my view-point. The majority did not agree at all.   

I however was okay with their opinions.   Afterall, it’s not their fault  society as a whole have young men thinking that crying indicates the sign of  a weakness.    Next’s week’s topic of discussion deals with happy moments.  I will keep you posted on the outcome.


2 Responses to “Today’s Youth And How They Deal With Grief And Unfortunate Events”

  1. Marc A. Medley Says:

    The responses were indeed influenced by society’s stereotypes. Oddly enough if you watch the Superbowl or World Series or any of those big games, you will see grown men openly crying and weeping when their team has lost. Take a look when the clock has run out or the last out is made.

    Our boys and girls must learn to deal with life in a healthy manner. I have two daughters who totally did not and still do not know how to handle their mothers and my divorce and it has been 5 years. The holding in of their anger cannot manifest anything but more negative energy in their lives. If we as adults and children were to understand the opening line in the book THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED by M. Scott Peck, M.D. that says “Life is difficult,” we would be a lot better at dealing with grief and unfortunate events. Dr. Peck goes on to explain his opening sentence by saying “This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult — once we truly understand and accept it– then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    That I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    Forever in the next.

    –Reinhold Niebuhr

  2. adraly Says:

    Awesome response Mr Medley.

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