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Ask Weezy Highlights – Materialism

by Louise Palanker

Cover Art by Graphic-Styles

I host a safe and friendly teen social network, ios app called Our Place. Each week, thousands of questions pour into the community. Kids share with one another and I personally respond to 15- 20 questions per day in a teen advice column called Ask Weezy.  Here are this week’s top five questions.

Question 1
It’s hard to live in a materialistic world without materialistic things. It’s hard living in a world by yourself, seeing others with their iPhones and iPads, with their big beds and big TVs.

If you still don’t understand what I’m talking about let me give you an example. It’s like having two planets and putting EVERYONE on one (lets call the spoiled planet ‘A’) planet and putting one person on the other. Now place both planets beside each other. I’m on the other planet. I can reach as far as I want, but I still won’t be able to reach it. I can smell planet A, I can see it and everyone with their latest technology hanging out having fun, I can hear planet A.

Now collide both planets together. I’m on the planet now. But I won’t EVER be able to actually be in it. It’s hard being in a world that I can’t touch. Now you understand where I am. And it sucks.

Weezy
I love the way you write. It’s very powerful. Here is what I would like to say about materialism and kids: If you see a kid with a new gadget, he or she did not earn the money to purchase that gadget. His parents did. This kid just wound up in a family that can buy her stuff. How does that make her superior to you?

Even imagine it’s two adults. Adult number one is a powerful attorney who makes a lot of money. Her job is to defend people who have committed crimes or big corporations. She can afford lots of cool stuff. Adult number two is a teacher. She works in a difficult part of town with underprivileged kindergartners. She has a flip phone.

Which person is more valid or more heroic or “better?” I don’t know. I don’t know them. They are hypothetical. They may both be awesome Moms, sisters, friends, parents, humanitarians. Or one may actually be a kinder more noble person. But their worth is not measured by their gadgets.

What I’m saying is that you can not assess the merit of an adult via possessions. So, how could you possibly use this means to measure the value of a child? I know you may feel isolated or lacking. But use this energy for good. Become a better person. When you can earn, save and buy your own iPad, you will feel outstanding. But until then, let no person ever allow you to feel that your planet is not as worthy.

Question 2
Hi! Okay, so when I was in third grade, I pecked my girl friend on the lips (I’m a girl). However, I do not have romantic or sexual feelings towards girls. What does this mean?

Weezy
Nothing at all. There is all kinds of same sex fun and affection that goes on between kids, all the way up through college, and beyond. Wrestling, hugging, pecking on the lips, snuggling, etc. etc. It means nothing, unless or until you are romantically In Love with a girl.

For example: If there is this one girl that you just can not stop thinking about and you long to hold her in your arms and know everything about her and share your deepest secrets with her and if your heart goes pitter pat whenever she comes into a room… you may be gay or bi. If those feelings are happening for a boy, you are probably straight.

Question 3
My mom and dad are divorced and they always argue with each other when they’re on the phone and around me and my sister

Weezy
That is not OK, and since they don’t seem to remember that it’s not OK, you can remind them. Say, “When you argue with Dad or with Mom, it absolutely shatters me. Can you please not do that?”

Every adult knows that you NEVER argue in front of your children. It is as well known a rule as “Never drink and drive.” However, some parents get very caught up in their own pain. You know how upsetting it is when you have love life issues. It’s maybe 100 times worse for your parents when they have attempted to build a life together, raise a family, be happy and it’s not working out. The stress and the heartbreak and the sense of failure and loss that they are feeling is very overwhelming. It can cause well meaning grown ups to forget that they are NEVER supposed to argue in front of their children. Gently remind them.

Question 4
How do you build your confidence? make people love you and wanna hang out with you?

Weezy
You can’t “make” people do anything. A general rule of life may feel very counter-intuitive, but it is this: Whatever you need, give it away. If you need a friend, be a friend. If you need confidence, compliment somebody. If you need love, show love. People will be drawn to a person who shares a lot of love, laughs, compliments and positive energy.

Question 5
How do I get a boyfriend that doesn’t think I’m creepy or weird Weezy???

Weezy
You start with a friend who doesn’t think you are creepy or weird.Or a friend who loves that you are creepy and weird.

You have used interesting language and sentence structure to pose your question. It sort of places you under attack and then dares anyone to love you.

You need to start with self love. If you re-frame your position and say, “Hey, I am awesomely unique. How do a find a boyfriend who gets me?” then we can have ourselves a constructive conversation.
Join clubs and activities full of interesting people like yourself. Start with friendship and as life unfolds, so too will romance.