Most of us use social media to express ourselves, keep up with family and friends, and see what’s going on in the wider world. However, some people use social media to spread ideas and opinions that are hurtful to others. A comment that starts off as a joke can be picked up and taken out of context, becoming hurtful to others and reflecting badly on ourselves. The song “Growing Pains” is about learning from our mistakes and moving forward with understanding and compassion.
Key lines: Try to mend what’s left of my content incomprehension / As I take on the stress of the mess that I’ve made / Don’t know if I even care for “grown” / If it’s just alone / And I guess the bad can get better / Gotta be wrong before it’s right / Every happy phrase engraved in my mind / I’ve always been a go-getter / There’s truth in every word I write / But still the growing pains, growing pains / They’re keeping me up at night
Questions: What, if any, difference is there between teasing and bullying? How do you draw the line between the two? Is there a line? When have you inadvertently stepped over the line? How did you make something hurtful right? How do teasing and bullying words impact you or people you know?
Spirit explores friendship this week. What makes a good friend? In their teens human being develop the brain power to see ourselves the ways others see us, making high school a time to try out who we want to be, to develop new interests, and to take on responsibilities. Our friendships can be fluid. Friends from last year may keep a distance this year. Someone we get to know better shows us what true friendship is: kind, forgiving, and supportive. Jess Glynne’s song “I’ll Be There” is about being there for one another, whether it’s to save someone a seat at the table or to help a friend through a difficult time.
Key lines: When all the tears are rolling down your face / And it feels like yours was the only heart to break / When you come back home and all the lights are out, ooh / And you’re getting used to no one else being around / Oh, oh, I’ll be there / When you need a little love, I got a little love to share / Yeah, I’m gonna, I’m gonna, I’m gonna come through / You’ll never be alone, I’ll be there for you
Questions: What does it mean to be popular in your school? When has this influenced your behavior and how you treat others? What does being a good friend mean to you? Who has been a good friend in your life? How is God a friend to you?
In Sunday’s gospel Jesus identifies the two greatest commandments–to love God with all our hearts and minds and our neighbor as ourselves. All of us, regardless of circumstances, can live these basic commandments rather than stereotype, judge, and disrespect others. We have the capabilities to brighten someone’s day, help people, spread joy, and learn from those different from us. The song “Love Song” is a reminder to love every day.
Lyrics: You are good to me / Still even better than I think / You are strong for me / For every time that I can’t be / I love You / It’s simple to say / But I love You / More every day / You see my heart and You know that it’s true / I love You / I love You, yes, I do / Yes, I do
Questions: How do labels affect how you see people around you? How does the fear of being labelled prevent you from being your true self? How can you help change the negative implications that labels can impose on others?
A blind beggar shouts out his faith Jesus can give him sight. This week’s SPIRIT explores a football player handles a bullet putting him in a wheelchair. Hard things at school, at work, or at home can put most of us in a funk of hopelessness but not Bobbie Brown, who finds new ways to move forward, take part, and inspire others. Andra Day’s song “Rise Up” is about recognizing that we are all brothers and sisters, and that we are all in this world together. Rising up can be as simple as forgiving someone who has hurt us, keeping faith when we wonder why life is so hard, or pushing for positive change when we notice injustice.
Lyrics: And I’ll rise up / I’ll rise like the day / I’ll rise up / I’ll rise unafraid / I’ll rise up / And I’ll do it a thousand times again / And I’ll rise up / High like the waves / I’ll rise up / In spite of the ache / I’ll rise up / And I’ll do it a thousand times again / For you
Questions: Think about a time when you experienced a challenging/traumatic event. What feelings did this event evoke? How did faith help you contend with what happened and find resilience in this difficult time? What are some ways you can share your experience and spread what you learned?