Teaching teenagers is a nurturing and fulfilling experience for me. Working with them I see hope, witness miracles and smell passion. Their stunning differences remind me with the finger prints, no two are alike. Each student is a mixture of feelings, experiences, memories, happy moments, sad events, daily frustrations, constant reprimands and infinite questions about who he is, is he good enough, what does the future hold for him and how to embark to his adulthood.
Lately, I started to see a common spark in their eyes. If their eyes had tongues, they would have cried out loud I bet. Their looks spoke of hunger. Not hunger to food as we are use to. They are hungry to be loved for who they are, to be accepted, to be acknowledged. They strive to be noticed. They are starving attention. They have fancy clothes, latest cell phones and belong to a high social and economical standards. Yet they suffer from severe poverty; emotional poverty.
This spark was an eye opener for me. Since I caught it, I started to look people in the eye, adults not teens this time. I felt tortured seeing this hunger in most of the eyes I contacted. People miss being noticed. Human beings crave words of love, of praise, of appreciation.
The need to be loved and accepted is one of the humans’ basic needs that is no longer fulfilled.