A Gift for Teens
Ideas and stories to keep you going when you're happy and pick you up when you're down
By Roiza Weinreich
Mesorah Publications, Ltd.
Do you remember me? We met a month ago at the orientation for hospital volunteers. I was impressed when I saw you there. I remember your crisply starched yellow blouse. Your earrings and necklace matched and added a perfect accent. Your hair was drawn back in a neat ponytail. Under your carefree smile there was a serious and determined look in your eye.
I had this feeling that you like to formulate lists. From the moment that the alarm clock rings you have many routine tasks to accomplish. I would guess that after the meeting you went home to help with supper, babysit, fix your blow dryer, bring your dress to the cleaners, buy film for your camera and mix salad for your dinner, write back to your pen-pal and read A G.I.F.T. FOR TEENS.
A G.I.F.T. For Teens is a jubilant collection of inspiring words to escort you when you are feeling happy and comforting words to help you when you are feeling down. The book is divided into four sections that cover the topics you want to know more about. The four sections spell out the word G.I.F.T. They are:
F Family and Friends
There are stories that will make you laugh, conversations to make you think, poems and a whole lot more.
You have dreams and goals. Your routine may include studying, socializing, shopping, and dieting. These things are all important in one way or another but they are incomplete. You want to accomplish something great. You want to make a real difference in your life and in the lives of others. Secretly you wonder -- arent we here on earth to accomplish something more? You feel shy to talk about these things yet you wonder -- Are you the only one?
Believe it or not, you are not alone. Many people wonder how they can become the person they want to be. Many of us wish that we could somehow accomplish something wonderful, but somehow we cant find the path to that lofty goal.
This small book overflows with a lot of powerful ideas. Where did these ideas come from? Will they only help strong-willed or talented people to improve, or will they work for ordinary people too? The inspiration and triumph you will find in these pages came directly from girls like you. The recipes that are offered here have been tested in the kitchen of real life.
The teenagers you will meet in these stories have actually practiced the Torah concepts outlined in the following pages, and they have developed the confidence and strength to improve their lives. They have displayed simple wisdom, self-control, and extraordinary kindness. Some of the teens you will meet in this book had a valid reason to be miserable, and yet they were not. Some were struggling with pain, but they worked hard to overcome obstacles and to give to others. There are girls who go to feed chronically ill patients every week, become a friend to a handicapped child, or decide to befriend a lonely classmate. One group of high school students raised money for an immigrant brides household needs. Every one of their accomplishments, no matter how small it may have appeared outwardly, was a personal triumph. Each new achievement gave them a sense of pride and the encouragement to go further.
And the best part is that they are all ordinary teenagers, like you. They challenged discouraging attitudes -- and so can you.
Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch explains that a feeling of progression is synonymous with happiness, because the Hebrew word for happiness -- simchah -- is related to the word tzemicha, meaning growth. We do not need to be finished to feel good; we simply need to be on the way.
The teenagers you will meet on these pages will show you how to take small steps toward growth. There are also exercises to do along the way that will give you a feeling of progress. These pages will help you make your wonderful dreams become a reality.