Tackling peer pressure

The word peer means equal or match. A peer is a person who is of equal or similar standing with another in a group. Pressure in this context can be described as a compulsive feeling that is capable of influencing an individual for good or bad. Therefore, peer pressure is an external compulsive feeling from person(s) of equal standing capable of influencing an individual positively or negatively.

Positive peer pressure may include influencing or motivating a friend to join a musical group or learning how to play a musical instrument, or generally being influenced to reach high for personal or collective noble goals which will always benefit in some way. Negative peer pressure on the other hand can lead to actions with attendant bad consequences, such as getting sick due to the intake of illicit drugs, excessive alcohol, cigarette, or inculcating other bad habits that may lead to one running foul of the law.

Many people believe that peer pressure is a phenomenon that is common only among children and teenagers, but the truth is that adults are not immune to the heavy influence of peer pressure, which they sometimes labor under without even realizing it. This can explain for example why some parents may coerce their children along certain lines simply because their friend or next door neighbour’s child who is within the same age bracket is doing something similar and getting some attention for it.

Some reasons why a person can be influenced by negative peer pressure include low self-esteem which brings about the desperate desire “to belong”, inferiority complex, lack of contentment, vanity, and so on. When trying to manage peer pressure there are a few pointers that will always put one in good standing to make the right decision; for example, cultivating a healthy self-esteem, the ability to accept the obvious fact that it is impossible to please everyone, avoiding comparisons and undue competition with one’s peers, developing a strong will which will help one dare to be different and be comfortable with it, and most important of all, making the fulfillment of the Will of The Almighty Creator a priority.

A child with low self-esteem will most likely grow into an adult who feels less of himself and thereby doubts his own capabilities, and will be easily influenced by external pressure, whereas an individual with a healthy self-esteem will understand his personality even if only to the slightest degree and believe sufficiently in his own abilities so that he need not labor under the burden of the pressure to conform to external influences. For every human being is unique and has specific talents which when developed becomes an indispensable part that adds its own peculiar beauty to the development of Creation as a whole. Kindness is a virtue no doubt, but should not be taken to unhealthy extremes by trying to act in such a way as to please everybody at all costs, as this can very easily increase one’s susceptibility to negative peer influence.

There is great truth in the saying that “You cannot please everyone!” Therefore, to every child and youth, it is an indispensable advice to be kind but hold on firmly to that which is true, even if it will not get the approval of one’s peers.

Thus, parents especially mothers and teachers need to help every child that crosses their paths realize the importance of having a mind of their own right from the earliest beginnings, laying emphasis on the will of The Almighty as priority. If this is done, many a child will grow up a strong adult who always seeks first to do the Will of the Most High and as a result, will not easily suffer from negative peer pressure and its attendant problems.

The explanation given in this article is based on the writer’s understanding of the Work “In The Light of Truth”, The Grail Message by Abd-ru-shin.
The reader is hereby invited to personally examine this Work. Copies of the Work can be obtained from any of the addresses listed here.
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