The Double Edged Sword of Rebellion

I have had this question on my mind for quite some time now and it is now ripe and ready to be released.

“How do we, young people, use our resources (wisdom, feelings, observations, experiences) to change situations (or our reality) without using rebellion for the mere sake of rebelling, mostly because it feels like the best and most attention-grabbing way of going about things?”

As most of you know, I am participating in an intense, eye and heart opening program called the International Youth Initiative Program and since I have embarked on this journey a lot of my thoughts and methods have been challenged. I expected this and I am embracing it all, as difficult as it has been. It has brought much learning and growth. Which I am grateful for.

One of my main observations is that young people throughout the ages have used rebellion to bring certain points across, mainly to express dissatisfaction with what is.

Absolutely understandable.

Rebellion appears to be a default action of the human spirit. We have all experienced the feeling of deliberately going against what is asked of us, for many different reasons. Sometimes for the mere reason of rebelling.

Because we can.

There is most certainly a place for rebellion.

So my question is how can we use this powerful tool in a constructive way. In a way that builds rather than destroys?

The double edged " Sword"of rebellion

The double edged " Sword"of rebellion

That when that force from within erupts, it creates, influences and supports a positive outcome.

It becomes a mockery and loses it’s power when young people use it just to get a rise out of people. (And that can be so much fun, I’ve been there and sometimes still find myself there)

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“The rebellion in young people is not a crime. On the contrary: it is the fire of the soul that refuses to conform, that is dissatisfied with the status quo, that cries out that it wants to change the world and is frustrated with not knowing how.”  The Rebbe


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6 thoughts on “The Double Edged Sword of Rebellion

  1. This has been aproblem for a while. See this quote by Socrates; “The children now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for
    authority, they show disrespect to their elders…. They no longer
    rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents,
    chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their
    legs, and are tyrants over their teachers.”

  2. Yvandi Lubbe Said “I think rebelling,even when you really truly feel you are right,is always negative.You want to prove a point,sure,but all your energy and focus goes into proving someone wrong or going against the grain,that making a real change for the better takes a back seat.Even though it almost always feels good,a shift in thinking is crucial to make it positive.But i think we should invent a new word for it.Suggestions?”

  3. Janine Gomes Rei Said ” such a fan didi 🙂 keep em coming .. love your arrangement of words rebel. real to the core. no agendas, just truth. refreshing.”

  4. I said ” Yvandi, wow, I never thought of it that way. That making a change takes a back seat when we rebel for the sake of rebelling, I guess it’s as though we are fuelling our ego’s then when we act, respond or react from that place. Hmmm. Creating a new word would be nice, but I think then it just becomes “cool” to be that new word, you know how silly young people can be…! But then again, perhaps I am wrong? ! Janine , Thank you so much my baba! I really appreciate feedback, of any kind, expressions of appreciation 🙂 “

  5. we dont always have to rebel….sometime i think rebelling just re-enforces what you are rebelling against because it puts the “thing” at hand into the spot light, almost making that the center of attention….what the spectators now see is the rebellion as “silly kids” just fighting without a cause.
    what we could be doing is completely adjusting the focus to something more positive. so for example(ok this is a crappy example but the first thing that comes to mind at 1am) if u dont like a certain educational system dont fight the one ur dealing with coz u the one that loses out on any kind of education rather find another way to educated and let the one that is wrong or that doesnt work fade away….

  6. Wow! Quite a question!
    Rebelling is much the same as having an argument with a parent…
    No one likes to be told what to do or think. And when you begin to raise your voice for something you believe in, you automatically put the opposite side on the defense… they have stopped listening and are just defending their point of view… so the change you are trying to bring about isn’t even heard because they feel threatened. Kind of defeats the purpose of rebelling hey… you want to be heard and most times only heard after long periods of time…
    When people are given a choice they are more likely to comply with doing things your way.. even if its an illusion of choice… because its more empowering than being told to do things differently… I cant really explain exactly what I mean here- I did write a blog on it… http://shilrani.wordpress.com/2011/04/15/rebellion/
    I also agree with Thandeka- you have such an awesome mind with the most thrilling ideas! You can combine that with your creativity to come up with a way to do things in a more constructive way… it only takes an idea to change the way things presently are… good ideas catch very quickly and before you know it, the change can happen as the next step in the process… it will be a flow…
    HUGS!

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