Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Black and White or Reality

I've been thinking a lot lately about my younger self - specifically my days in Jr High and High School and who I was then, my belief systems, etc. I am amused to realize how much I thought in black and white, right and wrong, true and false even though I felt I was progressive.

When you're 13 and in a Christian school, with Christian parent(s) and you regularly go to church and all your friends have the same basic belief system, you assume that that way of thinking is the only RIGHT way of thinking. You assume that the way you were brought up is the RIGHT way and anyone who does it differently is WRONG. I am thinking especially of my thoughts on morals and such, but that can be branched out in other ways, too, now that I think about it.

I remember being so judgmental of people who has sex outside of marriage. I remember assuming that couples who weren't married and got pregnant and therefore got married because of that pregnancy would automatically fail/have bad marriages/regret their choices, etc. Of course, I had never been in love, been kissed, felt anything even remotely like true love and I still thought the idea of sex (from a distant, mechanics-only knowledge of the topic) was kind of disgusting and I remember saying "yeah, I'd HAVE to be in love to do that with another person."

Fast forward a few years to my parents divorce, which rocked my world inside out, even at the age of 20, and shook up half the things my mom and my school had taught me. Suddenly, my mom was leaving my dad, both my parents had alcohol in the refrigerators, my mom was dating and HAVING SEX. In my house. (Loudly) Anyway...

And now I think about the friends and classmates I had in high school. Two of my best friends in high school - 2 of the "good girls" who came from good, stable, loving families who attended church regularly, etc.... they've both abandoned church attendance for the most part. And of my oldest "friends" (we met before Kindergarten and were good friends in elementary school, but then drifted apart) who never seemed to be interested in church except for social things... she married a Youth Pastor and now practically lives at her church, is very involved, etc.

I wonder sometimes - is the way we're raised really the way we end up? Are these friends just the exceptions to the rules? I know now that there is a lot more gray to the "absolutes"of the world than I realized when I was a kid...

It does show me, though, that sending a kid to a Christian school can't be the ONLY thing that teaches them their moral compass. It HAS to be taught at home. It has to be LIVED in the life they see.

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