Controlling Urges

Urges. That sometimes overwhelming feeling to do something. The moment before the brain kicks in and says, “Wait a minute. That’s a stupid idea.”

Ever been there? Oh, come on, remember being a kid? An adolescent? I do all too well. I never would want to go back there.

Paul talked about “when I was a child, I acted like a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Last week I had meetings at my Chicago office and we stayed at our son’s house. Our 6-yr-old grandson would sit there occasionally and do things to his 4-yr-old sister. Just little things. Reach out and touch annoyingly. Hit her toy. Whatever.

We can yell at him for tormenting her (remembering that the reverse happens, too. But what are we trying to teach him? It is that a mature person controls those urges.

As we reach adolescence, the urges that bubble up within us multiply. And they can cause much more serious problems both for us and for others than simple annoyance.

When I look at society over the past 25 years or so, I see so many people who grow up physically, but who still act like a child (or adolescent). Some will blame media or parents. And they exacerbate the problem at times. Certainly role models of maturity are often scorned or ignored. They get into the way of “fun.”

We have 4,000 years of wisdom that teaches about how to live a mature life. Yet, we have to teach and remember it every day. Part is to just remind the little ones as they grow to recognize and control their urges.

We must also, as we grow, learn to recognize and control our urges.

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