This year is my 10th year as a catechist in my church, a roman catholic church in Korea. I also became 30-years-old in Korean age which is considered as a real label of 아저씨.
I’ve safely and thankfully passed many stages to become an adult during that journey such as getting into a college and a company that I can be proud of.
However, it does not really matter that I passed the stages that my students are currently face when I am trying to give my advice for my students. I cannot fully understand their situation and way for them to go. I cannot help but realize how lucky I was.
What kind of hope I can give my students besides the prayers for them? Can I show them hope and future?
Becoming a true adult is not guaranteed by passing certain number of age and passing some tasks of life. Some bad adults think their age and achievements in life such as a decent job naturally give them the authority or a status as a true adult. Then, the common advice provided by these ‘bad’ adults is usually ‘work harder(노오오오력)’.
The true adult here means someone that our students want to ask for advice and the ones that really inspire them. In order to do so, we not only need some achievement that our students regard as a sign of solving the problems they have, but also need to go deeper into the circumstances where the young people are and understand the core of the struggle and show them some hope to get out of the struggle.
Sometimes the answer is easy and can be just ‘work harder’ of course. But we need to show them the ‘direction’. For example, they would need to work harder to find their true selves or find their true passion. But it would rather less mean study harder at school whatever the subjects are then get into whatever university with decent brand name. That means nothing to most of the kids. We even need to think about whether getting into a college is necessary or not.
Our advice must be personal too. Each student has their own story. There never is one single solution that can solve every problem of our kids. We must know more about them one by one while showing them we truly care and love them. Sometimes that is just enough even when we cannot find a good answer.
I am not sure if anyone would read this post. But if you are here, I am sorry to tell you that it does not have any answer. It’s just a traction of my thinking. I just hope to have someone who can share his or her knowledge or experience.
Below is the document films that I plan to watch with my colleagues in the Sunday school. Good thing is that I have the people who feel the same just like me and search for better answers for our students together. Hope you can be the one too.