You feel it. I feel it. Whether eight or eight-eight, we feel it: Peer pressure.
Those two words together make me cringe. How about you?
I squirm when I recall times I gave in to others’ negative influence.
When have you yielded to peer pressure?
When did you resist it and, instead, take a stand?
Saturday at our local memoir writers’ group, we noticed a theme in stories people read: giving in to peer pressure vs. taking a stand.
Taking a stand is hard but sometimes it can be the right thing to do, especially if it prevents abuse, injury, or even death.
I’ve never forgotten an important lesson I learned from my best friend in high school. Recently—nearly fifty years later—I reminded Cindy of the event and thanked her for modeling how to resist peer pressure with dignity and grace.
Because Cindy’s example has remained important to me throughout my life, you guessed it: I’m writing a vignette for my memoir. My grandchildren will face peer pressure —in fact, they already are facing it—and their kids and grandkids will, too.
If I tell my story, and Cindy’s story, my readers can glimpse, in a non-threatening way, how to discern what’s right and wrong, what’s good and bad.
I hope and pray my readers will find clues within Cindy’s example—that something will click in their minds when confronted with their own incidents—and that they’ll have the courage to stand firm rather than yield to peer pressure.
I hope to share Cindy’s story with you someday but, for now, let me ask:
How did you handle peer pressure as a teenager? As a young adult? As a parent? As a spouse?
Who played important roles in helping you take a stand despite potential ramifications—ridicule, being labeled, being excluded? How did your life change as a result?
Your family needs to hear your stories.
Stories are among God’s most powerful and effective tools.
Your story could make a big difference in the lives of your readers. To borrow Danny Iny’s words, your stories can educate them and “empower them to take the necessary actions.”
Write your stories!