Youth Action Council . . . with Connor Noyes: Developmental Asset No. 37 — Personal Power
Published in the March 1 – 14, 2017 issue of Morgan Hill Life
By Connor Noyes
“The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any,” said the writer Alice Walker. It’s easy to understand why so many people in today’s world feel absolutely powerless. Every time we look at the news it shows another terrible storm, another school shooting, and another grim prediction about climate change. Not just in the news, but for many we see it in our day to day lives as well.
While driving to work or school, we see a horrendous car accident and think to ourselves, “What if that had been me?” Then when you finally get home, whether you’re a parent or a kid getting through school, there’s homework to do, bills to pay, dinner to make, and chores to be done. These numerous and almost seemingly insurmountable tasks are in each and every one of our lives daily. Over time, we may begin to think, “What’s the point? How much do I truly control my own life? Am I really doing what I want to do? Am I honestly dictating how I want to live and create experiences with others?”
These questions are most apparent in the lives of youth. They’ve always been seen as the hopeful breed of individuals to pick up the slack for the older generation, in order to make a better legacy for the newer ones. There’s a plethora of responsibilities expected of them, in terms of school, college, social life, sports and other areas.
Skills such as time management, getting enough sleep every night, making new friends, and exposing yourself to as much as possible are essential. Yet, not all youth are able to gain these skills and develop effectively due to a nagging sense of powerlessness. Whether it can be caused through laziness, external circumstances, procrastination, or a hard upbringing, many young children and teens never even get close to their true potential. But sadly enough, we all have it.
Each and every human being born on this planet has the potential to do anything her or she desires in life. However, many kids aren’t given as equal a chance as others. Their beautiful lives and abilities are snuffed out before they can ever be realized.
I understand powerlessness can always be brought about by unfortunate circumstances that you have no control over. That’s just a fact of life we have to deal with. However, most of the time, it’s you. It’s your way of thinking, your attitude, your mindset, and your drive to say, “You know what, I’ve had enough!” We all have it. It’s just about harnessing and using it to your advantage.
The power to do anything is within you. It may sound cliché, but it’s true. Each and every day you can think about your goals, be a more kind and loving person, be more open to change that will help you grow, and recognize your faults.
These cornerstones of thinking will give you all the power you need. All youth can acquire and develop it in order to grow into the people they wish to be, but not everyone accomplishes this. One group of teens has a sense of self-empowerment and confidence to control their lives, while another is left in the dust due to minor circumstances, poor attitude and negativity.
Anyone can make a turnaround for the better. Hopefully for the youth of this generation and ones in the future, more and more kids will realize how much they truly have to offer the world.
Connor Noyes is a 17-year-old senior at Archbishop Mitty High School. He enjoys learning about history, playing soccer and video games.