I remember back in my college days being a very spiritual, lonely, and yet and out-going person with lots of friends. At the time, I was also part of a Spiritual University called the Brahma Kumaris and I was a dedicated follower of their path. I used to awake everyday at 4am, meditate and then go to the daily morning class. I followed their principles, such as vegetarianism, no smoking or drinking alcohol throughout my entire college life. It wasn’t easy not drinking especially when everyone else around you was just discovering alcohol and constantly talking about the joys of being drunk!
One of the things I remember clearly when talking to my friends about my spiritual path was that they always used to say to me “chill out dude, you could die tomorrow so you may aswell live each moment like its your last!” So their definition of living life as if every moment was their last was to eat as much crap, drink as much alcohol, and do plenty of weed and that would make you happy give you a fulfilled life!
While I don’t necessarily disgree with the philosophy, I’m fairly sure that living that kind of lifestyle was more like “Try and make every moment your last” and NOT “live every moment as your last!” It was a very clear demonstration of how misguided the youngsters were back when I was a college student. I totally agree that any young person should have those sorts of experiences of life I disagree with it being absused almost to the point of almost causing self harm.
Having fun and enjoying life doesn’t necessarily mean being innebriated to the point of almost losing consciousness and being taken to the emergency room! Whereas my friends took it to one extreme, I was on the opposite end of the scale and was just as guilty of taking something to the extreme without contemplating the consequences for my life in the future. I missed out on such an enjoyable fulfilling and life changing time because I was a misguided youth.
Finding that balance is not an easy thing to do but going to any extreme, whichever end of the scale that it might be on, is dangerous and irresponsible! It goes to show that we, as the models for the younger generation have an immense responsibility to encourage them to live life to the full without going to extremes. If we deny them something, chances are they will rebel. If we impose upon them beliefs, chances are they will take them literally. Instead, offer them choices and give them guidance. Remember, they still need to live and get experience so let them live and be there for them as a guide, a shoulder, a counsellor, and mentor and watch their life unfold with positive anticipation as they take your guidance and love and become balanced and strong individuals.