Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Shut Up And Listen



   As you might have guessed, it's time for one of my favorite segments I like to call "Shut Up And Listen." Just kidding I don't do segments but that is the title of this post and maybe I should start all my rants off with this picture. Heck, with the way I do things here I should have just named my blog that. I mean let's get real: all I do is rant here anyway. You should be forewarned that this will be a vicious rant. And there might be blood. I also would like to say that I mean everything I say with love and respect. Yes, I will not deny the fact that I got into a stupid Facebook argument with a woman from my church which started this; no I do not regret what I said. It was in defense of my sister. There is only one person who's allowed to bully my sister; and it's me. Because if you mess with her...yeah I can't finish that without having someone scold me. Not that I would mind. I'm a big sister. It's what I do. While I mean no disrespect, I'm not afraid of offending someone. Its the small price you pay for standing up for your beliefs. To all the people who did give my sister crap; just understand that I still value you as a person while I disagree with what you said.

   With that being said, I shall begin. Read at your own risk.

   I've always loved teenagers. Always and forever. It started at a very young age and I never told anyone about it because I thought it was stupid and I didn't want people to make fun of me for it. I was terrified of standing up for myself. If you read my last post you know all about my childhood; how I hated adults because they made fun of me. I remember my AWANA leaders and people from church and my dad; how I felt like they put me down and made me feel awful. It was rough. I realized that this was why I'm so shy now. I don't speak much as a teenager and it was because my whole like I was told that my opinions didn't matter and if I spoke up, someone would pick on me for it. So many years of conditioning taught me to stay quiet. I've got 17 years worth of emotions to sort out. In light of all that, me commenting on a status doesn't seem so silly now does it? I was actually proud, because I stood up for myself and my sister; which was something I used to be terrified to do. You see, my sister posted a status saying "If you don't have at least a little respect for Kurt Cobain than I am judging you so hard." First of all, everyone was forewarned that she was going to judge them so hard. She basically stated upfront that she would fight for him; therefore the angry commenters knew what they were getting into. Yet they commented anyway saying horrible things about Kurt Cobain and how immature she was for looking up to him. 1. Just don't. I don't care who it is you don't hate on someone's role model; its not going to change their opinion. 2. Clearly my sister knew he had gotten into some seriously bad stuff; so it was even more beautiful when she said that anyway. That's what God does with us. He looks past our sins; having that same ability is genuine. I don't want to hear "but he's not a Christian so it doesn't apply to him." because that is a stupid argument that Christians use to not feel obligated to love someone they don't think is worthy. Besides, if your sins were broadcasted to the world, people would think you were full of it too. Don't hate someone because they sin differently than you.

   While the status was the original spark, I want to move into a more broad topic. Adults in a general, tend to treat teenagers like crap. They assume they're rebellious and everything they do is selfish and immature. Adults judge by appearance. That kid has a lip ring? "Must be goth." Has scars? "It's for attention." Oh, and my personal favorite: listens to screamo? "He's a Satanist." Where in the heck did we get those ideas from?!? Do you even have a solid argument?! Sure there is a "stereotype" for those kind of kids. You know what its called? Mutual understanding. Allow me to show you.

   These kids that you make fun of and ridicule, they're onto something. I noticed it at 10 years old; they were using self expression. I mean, come on now. Are you really so ignorant you can't see it?! It's practically spelled out on a bright neon sign for you! "You are what you love, not who loves you." That's from a Fall Out Boy song which I thought was perfect for this. We are what we love. When someone says a song is their favorite, you shut the heck up and listen to that song because you'll learn something about someone that you never would have known. If someone likes a book, or a quote, or someone to look up to...what does that say about the person you're speaking to? If I said I admired Kesha, would you be so shallow to think "Wow. So what you're trying to say is that you love getting wasted and partying?" No. You missed the point. Try a little harder. Actually use your brain instead of simply looking at the outside of the situation. If the pieces don't fit try to turn it around instead of discard it.

   In my ministry I work with teenagers who self harm and have depression and eating disorders. I talk to them on a daily basis. One thing that 98% of them share in common is their taste in music. What does this say about those artists? They're doing something right. To attract a ton of hurting kids....wow. They're looking for something, they need a voice; and through music, they have one. Before you go judging someones taste in music, try just listening to it. Here's a taste of some of these "satanist" bands my kids and I listen to. (By kids I mean my RAIM kids.)

   "I kissed the scars on her skin. I still think you're beautiful and I don't ever want to lose my best friend."-A Match Into Water, Pierce The Veil.

   "You have many options in life. Don't make giving up one of them."-Austin Carlile, Of Mice And Men.

   "Wrists are for bracelets, not for cutting."-Kellin Quinn, Sleeping With Sirens.

   The word "Nirvana" (where the band got its name.) means to find a place of happiness without suffering.

   To "Pierce The Veil" (being a business and religious term.) means to cut the problem off at the root.

   "Drugs are a waste of time. They destroy your memory and your self respect and everything that goes along with your self esteem. They're no good at all."-Kurt Cobain.

   "Therapy is about every kids worst nightmare. When people are telling you that you need to get help but all you really want is a hug."-Alex Gaskarth, All Time Low.

   "I know you want to leave but friend please don't take your life away from me."-Friend Please, Twenty One Pilots.

   Andy Biersack (of Black Veil Brides.) wrote the song Knives And Pens about coping. You can either run to knives to cut, or you can write. He chose to write.

   "It's okay, there's always another day."-Another Day, Paramore.

   Basically everything about the song and video of Stay Together For The Kids by Blink 182.

   I could end it there. What more proof could you possibly need? Music saves lives. Most mainstream music, and dare I say even a lot of Christian music, is just so shallow. We don't need people to say how happy go lucky everything is. We need honesty. Sometimes its not enough to be happy. Have you ever felt like that? Because I know I have. I'm allowed to hate my situations and I'm allowed to say so. Also, a lot of artists don't address much needed topics like self harm and eating disorders because they're so stigmatized. Yet punk rockers do this because they've been there and they understand.

   The point is: shut up and listen! Stop seeing teenagers as crack heads with no future or purpose because they're living exactly as you expect them too! Do you get that?! They're living up to the potential you placed on them! Maybe if you started expecting more from teenagers they'd grow to fill in the shoes.  "People always complain about this generation but you're the ones who raised us."-My sister, Dayle. Teenagers are just following the example that you older folks set for us. Check yourself.

   Another point: let me use an example of depression. Just because someone has depression doesn't mean they're depressed. Get what I'm trying to say? You aren't your struggle. I'm not Faith That Prideful Chick. I'm Faith God's Daughter Who He Has Forgiven And Cleansed Of All The Stupid Crap She's Done. The same is true for drug addicts and people who struggle with alcoholism or whatever the case. It doesn't define them. But maybe they think it does; maybe the believe that this struggle runs their life; you gotta show them it doesn't. We are called to be the light. Christians are so freakin judgmental and I'm going to stop that there before I rant more because that's a blog post for another time.

   If you still don't believe a word I say, take it from two pretty punk rock people I have the honor of knowing. Introducing Thurston and my sister, Dayle.

   "Another thing, how do you dress gayly? Last I checked, actions determined you're sexuality." This is Thurston, who rants about people calling certain punk rockers "gay." Can I get an amen?

   "We're told to stand up for what we believe in, but how come if someone older is against what we believe in; we're wrong?"-Dayle

   "I don't get why people in this world have to go about attacking rockstars without even first considering what they might have gone through."-Thurston against the "you shouldn't have those type of people are your role model" argument.

   For one second let's pretend this whole "they're different" factor isn't there. (That's why everyone hates them right? "They express their individuality by dressing the same." Ha no.) Have you considered that teenagers just want to be treated like regular human beings instead of outcasts?! Wow! Who would have thought! Honestly, don't judge a book by its cover. Take the time to get to know someone. Having a nose ring doesn't make you a failure and having a tattoo sleeve doesn't make you a criminal. They only make you one thing...awesome as heck. Because piercings and tattoos rock and if you've got the confidence to stand out in a world that hates, you go Glenn Coco. I salute you. Rock on and continue to inspire. This isn't just for emo kids; its for all the kids. For the Directioners who get labeled brats, homeschoolers that are said to be antisocial, and shy people who are called boring. Just be your amazing self and who gives a crap what anyone else thinks? If God approves, then you got the green light; and that's all you need. Stop judging everyone without first trying to understand them. Shut up and listen. Who knows, you might just find that you were wrong all along.



(I am not even sorry.)

10 comments:

  1. ^^^^^THIS^^^^^^^^

    words cannot express my thankfulness for how WELL you've portrayed this. Now I know exactly how to respond when someone gets in my face because of my music taste/the people and artists who I respect. Amazing job. :)

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  2. I think I agree with a lot of what you said, and I'm proud of your boldness.
    Still, I almost feel like you're stereotyping adults in this post by saying that you feel that they all look down on younger people. Personally I think that a judgmental person is a judgmental person, no matter what their age. And though our generation might have been wrecked by the adults that came before us, it doesn't give us any excuse to not act like Godly, responsible, and mature human beings.

    Teenagers (go us!) are a bit hard to place. We're sort of in an in-between and up-and-coming point and sometimes life can be confusing for us. But we aren't meant to know all the answers and it's okay to be imperfect. We learn as we go and our minds mature as we progress. It's kind of beautiful like that.

    Arguing doesn't help. Humility is the key. Let's prove the world wrong.
    *jumps off soapbox*

    Nice post. :) It intrigued me and provoked my braincells.

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    1. haha thank you for this comment. Yeah it seems I have been doing a lot of adult bashing which is wrong on my part. People are judgmental in a general and it was sort of implied here.

      Someone I know, a woman from my church I adore, pointed out to me that not adults are like that and I agree to a great extent. I've come a long way from where I was as a kid and there are quite a few adults that I love to pieces; this post isn't for them. Although possibly I should consider writing another one for them:)

      The teen years are just awkward in a general. lol. its all sloppy and messy; I agree.

      I like that last bit you said. "Arguing doesnt help. Humility is key."
      Amen! We can break free of a cycle that will continue unless we do otherwise. And props to you for stating your opinion:)

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  3. What a beautiful post!Well done,Princess!the homeschooling part really spoke to me-because i am home-schooled and people always seem to think just that-no social skills,even though i'm very VERY voluble,and sometimes talk to random people i don't even know.For a long time,i've actually kinda had this view you' have...but i haven't ever really known how to show i do...in my family...because-people get mad when you tell them,"For once,let's just stop trashing-we'll just say Justin Bieber,and consider the life he has.Do you think it's easy being famous?the whole world uncovering every sin and exposing it to every human alive?"Because then my people will say,"Chill,girl-we were just talking.so what,you're too holy now to just talk about people?"But i don't WANT to talk about people,and i feel this way because people (i won't name who)have been saying i'm 'holier than thou',just because of the way i live(dressing modestly,being polite,and just plain old doing what God tells me.seriously).please help me with this issue,if you can...i hope i made sense... :)

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  4. This. Is. SO. FREAKING. TRUE!
    My gosh, I had chills running down my arms as I read this. You have managed to sum of the feelings inside me so beautifully, and clearly! I'm in shock. First of all, I agree with everything, and just loved that photo at the end. Our problems, do not define us as who we are.
    I will admit, that I do have seasonal depression. I don't really tell anyone about it, simply because the times I have told people they began to treat me differently. With a downright pity, bordering on repulsion. I'm christian, and I listen to scremo, rap, and such- because it makes me feel better! There is something raw, and exposed about this type of music that fills me with the real emotion my depression often takes away. I feel alive when I'm listening to those songs, because for once, no one is looking at me and seeing me as a victim, but seeing me as a warrior. Someone who has to fight every single day of their lives, just to get up the next morning and find themselves back at the bottom of the hole looking up towards the far off sky.
    I find myself judged on so many fronts, and most of the time, it's by the same people who claim that they love everyone because that's what Christians do. If that's true though, then why do they care that I'm homeschooled? Why do they care so much about what I think, or say? Why do they care about shaping me into a mold, they can't even come close to achieving. Sometimes I feel like I try so much harder to follow Christ, than they do! Yet, when I mess up a little even once, it's as though it's so much worse than their sins.

    Anyway, amazing post! I'm afraid I went on a little tangent of my own, which I apologize for. I just discovered the awesome 'subscribe by email' button on your blog! I'm thrilled! Now I can keep up with all of your posts. :D
    Great job, again. Keep on fighting for yourself, you have my applause!

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    1. To be honest all these comments made my day. Especially yours Lyndsey. Wow. I almost teared up reading that. I am so sorry people made you feel that way and I am so sorry they are so cruel. Just remember not to treat others badly just because that's how they treat you.

      I am so glad you could relate! I thought I was the only one:) I was really nervous about posting this because of the negative responses people might have but if everyone hated it except you, I would have posted it. I wasn't expecting that kind of response. You are so sweet. Never hesitate to shoot me an email if you ever want to talk! (my email is in the About Me/Contact Me tab on the top!)

      I also shared your blog and a bit of this comment on my facebook page:) (facebook.com/PrincessFaith)

      *hugs* you're awesome.

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  5. Great post! :D posting something like this is something I've always wanted to do, but I've always been too afraid that I would use the wrong words or come off as disrespectful, two things I tend to do very often.

    Thank you, and once again, great job! :)

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  6. Wow, Faith. This is such a powerful post! I honestly read through every single word (which is quite a feat because you managed to hold my attention for the entire length of the post). Unfortunately, it's all too true that many people (Christians included) judge way to fast and way to harshly. Self-righteousness and condemning of others are two things that I see so much in the world around me. It's a really sad reality. Teenagers are misunderstood, cast aside, and they turn to the world for attention.

    I remember writing an English essay on this topic once. And I remember how I went to research on what causes teenagers to do some things. In this end, it really boiled down to one thing: they wanted to be loved for who they were. My parents conduct sessions on how to train your child up in God's way, and I am so grateful that while they push me towards God's path, they still love me for who I am--a sinner saved by God's grace, just as they are. I just want to tell you that I'm so encouraged by how you stood up for your sister and for all those hurting teenagers out there. <3

    xx.

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  7. Oh wow, I appreciate your boldness as young poeple. and I agree Kissmint "a judgmental person is a judgmental person, no matter what their age" sometimes they could not make a different between rebuke and judging and it killing their mental as teenagers. Sometime the adults/parents need God's wisdom to taking care the younger ones. I live in orphanage - I live with teenagers boys and girls and I know what you mean.

    Anyway, I nominated you for my sunshine award -thank you for being the sunshine here :) many blessing to you. <3

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  8. I love this post! :) I can't wait to check out some more of your older posts now that I've read this one. I can relate because I love Tourniquet (a metal band with Christian values) but other people look down on that because it's...fast and loud. (Besides, a lot of people look at me and think I just listen to Top 40 pop music or something, which just shows that no one should read a book by its cover) but even though I listen to Tourniquet I can hardly stand listening to music on mainstream Christian stations. It is allllll the same! Anyway, thanks for saying things like that, because it's hard to find honesty like that. I'm at ashley-ashstash.blogspot.com if you'd like to check me out, too :)

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