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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Puzzling Rebels

stock image - emoRebellious and/or wild young people. Or just young people who are sort of "out there" in more ways than the average young person. You probably know a few of them yourself.

Compared to their decidedly more average peers, I have observed that a higher percentage of these RWYP seem to go into the military. This does not make much sense to me. "I'm rebellious and I'm wild and I don't like other people telling me what to do and I resent authorities. So I'm going to join the military, where people are always telling me what to do and where I'll likely always have authorities over me."

Here are some of my theories. (I mean absolutely no offense to past/present/future military personnel or families thereof. I really can't figure it out though.)

  • They want to see the world?

  • They know they need to get a semblance of discipline and order in their lives?

  • It's a job from which they won't likely get rejected?

  • They want to "make a difference?"

  • They want to prove how tough they are?

  • They want to handle guns and kill people legally?

Perhaps you are, were, knew, or know one of these RWYP. If so, please enlighten me.

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2 have poured out their souls in electronic text:

  • Ginny

    It is probably a combination of the last two and that they just don't get it. When I was in the navy, there were many who just didn't get it and they ended up spending a lot of time in the brig and eventually got a dishonorable discharge.

  • Ewokgirl

    Well, as you know, I work with teens. My theory on this is that they often just have a lack of direction in their lives. Many of them go for the weird looks or odd behaviors because they're trying to find themselves, gain some attention but don't really know how, etc. They often have no real plan for their futures (which isn't strictly confined to rebellious types--it's hard for any kid to really know what they want to do and be), but if they don't want to go to college, they know they have to do something.

    Perhaps they really do crave structure in their lives. I know that back in my high-school-teaching days, most of my more rebellious students had difficult and/or complicated home lives. Their confusion over all that often comes out in the form of bizarre behaviors and appearance.