Youth suicide, Palo Alto, Silicon Valley. When you no longer appreciate life, and yet you are only in your teenage years. Any parent of a teenager, like myself, reading this article worries about the quality of life we – really – have over here.
We question ourselves; ‘Am I putting too much pressure on my kids?’, ‘Am I protecting them enough?’ or ‘Am I protecting them too much?!’, ‘Are my kids okay?,’Are they telling me everything? or Nothing?!’, ‘What about my school district?’.
Something is really wrong and kids are sad. They are confused, they are sick, they are lonely, they are overworked, stressed out. Pretty much like many of us parents living and working in Silicon Valley.
Most of us are struggling. Many of us are lost. People are lonely.
There has been a shift in what is important, what is precious, what is right. Kindness, friendship, empathy, respect for one another, having fun, are the least of our worries. No wonder our children do not know how to get help or how to give help.
We all learn at different paces – while some kids have excelled intellectually and there is a minority in the Valley which are fit for College at age 13 (!), others have well-founded emotional skills that can help them dealing with life’s curve balls. We need to bring these two skills together; intellectual and emotional.
We have to stop penalizing each other, stop making our neighbor, our colleagues, our children feel inadequate. ‘B’ is good, very good! C is a pass, by the way. Carolyn Walworth – former student at Palo Alto High – wrote an article that describes what many of our students, here in the Silicon Valley, feel like.
I have seen so much since I moved here to the Valley. And there are things I wish I had never seen or experienced. I try to do my best by learning every day, sharing the very little I know – without imposing on others – I have learned that we all have our limits – and that is okay.
‘Peace begins where (high) expectations ends’. Sri Chinmoy