Turning Points with life coach Randy Nathan
Dear Coach Randy,
Im a high school junior and was asked for a date by someone who is not Jewish. Id like to go, but I know how my mom feels about this. What should I do?
Crazy in Love
Dear Crazy in Love,
It seems like youre in a pretty tricky situation, but youre not the only one dealing with something like this. The challenge here is to sort the issues out about this guy, try to understand why your mom feels this way, and decide what is the best choice for you.
Heres an exercise that may help. Take a piece of paper and draw a large square with four boxes numbered one to four from left to right. Above the top-left box put the word PAIN and above the top-right box put the word GAIN. On the left-hand side of the top-left box write CURRENT and on the left-hand side of the bottom-left box write FUTURE.
In Box 1 list the current pains of not dating this guy.
In Box 2 list the current gains of not dating this guy.
In Box 3 list the pains you will need to go through in order to date this guy.
In Box 4 list the future gains of dating this guy.
What do you see? What are the issues you must overcome?
This is a valuable activity that highlights your current situation and the possible challenges ahead should you choose to pursue this relationship. This process will give you a clearer picture on what is important to you and what you value. Hey, how about filling it in with your mom?
Dear Coach Randy,
I am pledging a fraternity and have learned of a ritual that involves getting a tattoo. I know Jewish law prohibits this, but what can I do?
Dying to Get In
Dear Dying to Get In,
Being a part of a fraternity can be an incredible opportunity while in college, so its no wonder this is a dilemma for you. It sounds like you value your Jewish background and want to make the best decision.
Try this exercise: Take some time and answer the following questions.
1. What is your goal in joining a fraternity?
2. What feeling(s) will you gain from attaining it?
3. When do you think you can achieve your goal?
This exercise demonstrates that what you really desire is number two and the feelings from attaining your goal. What is it that you want from being a part of this fraternity? If there really is an expectation of doing something that challenges your values, what is the true nature of this organization? If youre willing to negate your value system now, what does it mean if youre challenged again in the future? How do you feel about doing a little more research both on yourself and the other fraternity members? Whatever you do choose, it is something that youll have to live with for the rest of your life.
Randy Nathan, MSW, is a personal empowerment coach who works exclusively with high school and college-age students. Through the coaching process, he empowers and motivates young people to overcome major challenges, transitions, and relevant opportunities in their lives. For further information, go to www.ypcoach.com.
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