1 – Life is hard.
2 – You are going to die.
3 – You are not that important.
4 – You are not in control.
5 – Life is not about you.
Perhaps a little word of explanation is called for. I’ve been reading a book (Finding Life) by Ashley Barker, the director of UNOH (Urban Neighbors of Hope), an Australian missions group that works among the poor in a variety of contexts. It’s a great read, and I highly recommend it.
In it, he quotes Franciscan Richard Rohr (who has researched many traditional societies’ “rights of passage”. The rights of passage are designed to teach their young people the above lessons, which he (Rohr) holds as key to maturing as people and communities. Contrast them w/ the dominant attitudes in “Western” culture (according to Jim Wallis…)
1 – Life can be easy.
2 – You can be young (or at least keep feeling and looking young) forever.
3 – You are what is most important.
4 – Above all else, you must stay in control.
5 – Life is mostly about you and your fulfillment.