The Adolescents and Goliath

The Adolescents and Goliath by Michelle Katz

I am reminded of the story of David and Goliath this week as I watch young teens do what adults have not been able to do for the many years we have been fighting this battle.

The legend is inspiring and heartwarming. 

The scene is set during a time of war and turmoil between two opposing sides.  They are at a standstill on the frontlines, a valley between them, and the Giant named Goliath, stimulating fear of movement.  The giant calls for a one-on-one battle, though the conditions are clearly in his favor, being the giant he is, and armed well with rich armor and weapons.  Young David, on the other hand, was simply a youth who came to the frontlines to bring his father and brothers food and assurances.  Otherwise, he mostly did as he was told back on his father’s land, tending to sheep.  But in a certain moment, this young man, felt something bigger than himself rise up, something that moved him toward actions that are beyond what the world saw of him.  And though scolded and ridiculed by his family and neighbors for his beliefs and thoughts, David fought for his need to speak out and stand up to this giant. Once he was heard by the King, though he continued to be questioned for his youthfulness, the King decided to arm him with fine armor to prepare him for the battle of purpose that was clearly in his heart.  David, however, refused the armor, knowing what he was capable of in himself, holding his story of his own small but significant battles of the past, all to prepare him for this greater ordeal in order to serve his people.

And so the young boy, went to meet the great giant on the battlefield.   And with stone and slingshot, shot the giant right between the eyes, causing him to fall face down on the ground.  The giant had been defeated, by the most unlikely of characters, in the most unlikely of ways.  And a hero was made, in himself, for his people and in the eternally lasting legend. 

This is the story of our time.  I continue to be in awe of the adolescents in the story of the recent Florida school shooting.  I see these young, knowing, and strong individuals, in their own right (not with money or political status or arms), take on the giant that left so many of us just standing on the frontline and not moving forward. 

The NRA and those in favor of gun-control have been facing each other in battle for a long time now.  The NRA, has been a giant in this standstill, with it’s big funding capabilities, particularly of politicians, plus it’s organizational skills and support from various huge stakeholders.  This is truly a giant to take on! Meanwhile, the adolescents have emerged from the crowd calling out for gun-control, no longer willing to stay in the place the adults have them tending.  Rising up to meet the call, knowing what they know, makes them larger than their exterior or their expected role in our society.  Being ridiculed and criticized, won’t stop them, they face that on a daily basis.  They know that the disapproval of others means they are offering something substantial and essential toward the changing of the way of things.  And they will refuse to be anything other than themselves in the face of the giant. Their being is all they need to be armed with, no guns or fine armor needed, just slinging their messenger bags, carrying the words that land as rocks on Giant’s sweet spot of vulnerability.   

This is the wisdom of the age of teens, this is the calling for change, this is the rite of passage of youth into adulthood, but also the passage of our nation into civilization led by these youth. These young individuals have been stripped of so much, friends once cherished are now gone from this earth, a life and place of safety is now unsafe. These adolescents know that life can and will never be the same.  A severance has occurred, and they are being ask to step into their lives more fully than ever before. We have seen many students, teachers and parents fall into grief after the vast number of shootings in our country, the grief has looked many ways, but never like this! This story of grief has led to a story of purpose, in service of the greater whole.  These young individuals have found what their gifts are and they know they have to bring it forward to the world in order for our world to grow and change.  They are the Davids fighting the Goliath of our time, while we watch in awe.  It is an inspiring story indeed.

What is your inspiring story?  Step into your rite of passage, and learn the gifts you bring to this world with Oaks Counsel.  Join us for our next Day Quest on March 25th or check out various other programs.