The Desire to Prove You Wrong

On Thursday sixteen-year-old Abby Sunderland, who was attempting to sail around the world, signaled for help after the mast of her boat was broken and her satellite communication system was lost. Ever since, parents all across the internet have been asking how her parents could have possibly allowed a person so young to sail alone around the world. Well, Abby’s parents felt that she was prepared and had the skill to perform such a task. Parents came back with the fact that she couldn’t possibly have the skills to be able to handle every situation that arose. But let me ask all of these parents a question: does anybody? Even the most prepared, the most experienced sailor cannot possibly be prepared to handle every single problem that could potentially arise.

Also, some people are saying that the reason young people are trying to break records is that parents are pushing their kids to excel above everyone else, to beat out everyone else at everything they do. I don’t think it has to do with that at all. As a “young person” myself, I honestly think it has to do with the fact that young people are just plain sick of being told what they cannot do, what they are too young to do, and what they’re not good enough to do. When we hear things like that we suddenly feel like we have to prove everyone wrong, and in some cases that leads to things like, oh I don’t know, making a dangerous voyage around the world by yourself.

I think parents need to remember what it was like to be a teenager. They need to remember the desire to prove themselves, to be seen for the intelligent people that they are and to not be constantly told what they can’t do. They need to remember that, though sometimes it may not seem like we realize the danger in what we’re doing, sometimes we do, we just feel that it’s worth the risk to do something we love and really truly want to do. Most parents seem to forget all of this, and I think they need a reminder.

Parents: you were young once. Remember? Put yourself in your child’s shoes and tell me you wouldn’t feel the same. Tell me that, if someone told you that you couldn’t do what you loved, you would try to prove them wrong and do it anyway. I know that if someone told me that I couldn’t write anymore or that I was a terrible writer I would never, ever stop.

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~ by Rckrgrl on June 11, 2010.

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