Unknown-9 Tim Elmore (see recent post) believes that many young people are reaching adulthood emotionally unstable and socially naive – due to the lies they have been told. Shame on us – not on them. We have not equipped them to face an uncertain world. Here are some of the most harmful lies we've told to Generation iY:

Lie #1: "You can be anything you want to be."

You can see signs of this popular lie on any edition of a TV reality show. The trouble is that wanting something is not the same as being able to achieve it. Desire is not the same as talent, and talent is not the same as accomplishment. Unless young people match their dreams with their actual strengths, they are doomed to failure. Telling them this lie simply sets them up for discouragement – because the truth is they can't do anything they want. None of us can. 

Lie #2: "It's your choice."

We live in a culture full of options and yet this vast array of choices can be harmful. It creates a self-centred paradigm where kids grow up accustomed to having things their way. The truth is that not everything is an option in the real world. There may be only one right choice or someone else may be making the decision. That is simple reality. 

Lie #3 – "You are special."

Yes, everyone is special and unique but not everyone is outstanding and extra-ordinary. That simply cannot be true of everyone … and kids soon figure this out. Some spiral down into depression while overachievers and perfectionists often buckle under the pressure that the word 'special' implies. We can serve our young people well by pointing out their strengths and by affirming them, while at the same time preparing them for the real world where not everyone will think they are special.

Lie #4 – "Every kid ought to go to college (university)."

We want students to set their sights high, to get a degree and become a real somebody. We want them to believe in themselves and value their own abilities. The intent is good but the truth is that a three or four-year degree isn't for everyone. Many students later discover that their degree does not fit their gifts, interests or aspirations. The truth is that there is more than one path to a successful future. A university degree may be a fruitful option for some, but apprenticeships, community colleges, tech schools and vocational institutes may be more appropriate for many. 

More tomorrow (click here) …

5 thoughts on “Seven Lies that Can Disable a Generation (Part 1)

  1. Very wise points Mark. Agree with you. Not everyone is a scholar, yet they can be successful in life. Peter Daniels springs to mind. He left school at age 14 and later, because he could not spell, at around age 26, read many self-help books to become a successful multi-millionaire. God’s plan for each life is different and valueable to make up the whole. “You can do all things through Christ who strengthen you.”

  2. Thank you Mark for raising an important issue in today’s society. I also agree with Marija that God has made planned for each life to be different and that it is alright to take another path to the destination God has in mind for each of us.

  3. On the topic of lies and deception, I was shocked to read and hear about Rob Bell’s new book “Love Wins”. He is meant to be a christian but his book has belittled the Cross of Jesus saying that it does not matter whether you believe in Jesus or not all will eventually enter into Heaven because God is Love. This to me is more of a concern as Rob Bell so confidently lies about the Word of God and uses scripture out of context to match his theology of liberalism. I think as parents we should really talk to our children about the uniqueness of Jesus as to who He is and what He did. They will be faced with lots of conflicting views about Jesus. I truly believe that knowing the real Jesus helps to make our children stable and balanced kids amidst a confusing and man-centered world.

  4. Whilst I do not disagree with the list of ‘lies’ neither do I cherish the tidings they seems to bring.
    Yes, children are pampered through childhood and, Yes they might think that life is going to be like the movies (where the new or awkward kid fits in, gets the girl and everyone in the cafeteria launches into a musical).
    But cultivating a ‘can-do-attitude’ is an essential trait to pass on to any proceeding generation. So instead I think we should be teaching children to cope with failure and impressing temperance and wisdom on their decision making processes (not passing on our own fear of failure and rejection).
    I’d urge you all to check out Sir Ken Robinson’s presentation asking “Do schools kill Creativity?”. Certainly challenged my view on traditional education and how we should be equipping our children.

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