I recently read a great book called "Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel", by Jeanette Walls. I put the picture of the cover up in case you are interested because although I rarely can remember titles myself, I will recognize the cover!
It's a story about a very strong-willed, unique woman, Lily Casey Smith, growing up in the early 1900's. The story is told by her granddaughter- Jeanette Walls. In the book, Lily is helping her father train (I don't like the word "break") horses at 6 years of age. By 15, Lily is traveling on her own, over 500 miles, on horseback, to take up a position as a school teacher in a one room schoolhouse. Not only does she make the trip just fine, she continues through life as a school teacher, pilot, rancher, and a million other things despite any number of obstacles. It's really an entertaining book, and although in many ways it's just an "easy read" it got me thinking...
If less than a hundred years ago, a 15 year old girl could survive a month of traveling by horseback in order to take a job as a school teacher and make out just fine, are we shortchanging teenagers today? Is it possible that the advancements and life style changes that were designed to make us safer, faster, stronger, better educated with more leisure time have made us less capable? Or are we way off in what we think a teenager today is capable of doing? I'm thinking it may be the later, and if that's the case, no wonder we have teenagers that are bored, feeling misunderstood and frustrated! If somewhere in there minds and bodies they are capable of being off on their own teaching others and we are telling them they are barely capable of making simple decisions like what they should eat and how they should dress there must be a huge sense of disconnection. While I'm not suggesting we send them off in the wild (especially because we really don't have much "wild" anymore), I'm thinking it might be worth reassessing their abilities and allow them to surprise us in their capabilities. Seems like in less than 100 years we have made many advancements but have automatically assumed because of that we are actually less capable. That doesn't really make sense to me?
Maybe I better relate this to Bach Flowers, because teenagers are definitely not my area of expertise! while Bach Flowers are more in line with my talents!
Teenagers do for whatever reason(s) often feel disconnected, confused, and misunderstood. There are a lot of Bach Flowers that can really make a huge difference and ease them through the pain of discovery and growth. However, for every teenager that could use Larch, Crab Apple, Clematis, or Cherry Plum, there is a parent or care-giver that could use Vine, Vervain, Beech or Red Chestnut to name a few. Much of the life experience is about relationships it seems and it is often our relationships with others that we need to examine and work through with or without the use of Bach Flowers. Bach Flowers just make it's easier.
Maybe I answered my own question. Maybe the reason Lily Casey Smith could do so much on her own at 15 and even younger, was because up till then, there really wasn't much in the way of relationships in her life. She was very much "on her own, sink or swim". I think being involved with our children and establishing relationships with them is definitely a positive evolutionary change, but maybe as we move into the aquarian age of group consensus and collaboration, we can undo some of the piscean style of authoritative direction and control over children.
Personally, I'm looking forward to the shift!