Magazine Content and Sketches
This assignment is to demonstrate skills for a two page spread of an LDS magazine article. For this I have chosen to write to adults for the Ensign to remind us all that peer pressure does not just affect the youth! For many adults, we forget that we are not immune to others’ influences.
Story: Painful Peer Pressure
Painful Peer Pressure
I have a confession. I succumbed to peer pressure. Sadly, it was a painful lesson emotionally and physically. Since it happened so subtly, I did not see my pride leading to a downfall.
I had been asked to substitute for the dance teacher at my son’s school. Because I had done quite a bit of substituting, and because my youngest three sons had attended the school, I knew many of the students, and felt welcome when I subbed. This day was no different, and the teacher had asked me to take the dance students through strength training where they would take periodic measurements of their abilities. I had worn slacks to participate with the students, and knew there would be some things I would and some things I wouldn’t do. For several classes I did a few of the drills, and then, in a later class one of the students who was a friend of my son, Benn, began to innocently encourage my participation. I was doing well. Surprisingly, I kept up with the dance students, and everything was perfect. Last was the splits. I had refrained from doing those in previous classes because I simply hadn’t done them in a long time. Kerrie, Benn’s friend, encouraged me, saying, “Gee, Mrs. Parrish, you have been able to do everything else, I bet you can do the splits, too.” Feeling like a girl again among the girls, I forgot myself. For Pete’s sake, I am a grandmother, but I went into the splits. Because I was warmed up some, I went all the way down.
“Kerrie,” I gasped as I remained in the splits position, “I think I ripped something.”
Quickly she ran around behind me and said, “No, Mrs. Parrish, you are fine. I don’t see anything.”
“I don’t mean my pants, Kerrie!” Gently she helped me up. Pain shot up my leg into my hip. I smiled and said I was fine, but sat out the rest of the class and the rest of the day. For weeks I could feel more than pride shoot up my leg and burn when I walked. I had fallen to peer pressure. How easily I had slipped into the splits. How easily I slipped under peer pressure. I was like a teenager again. How could I not have seen this coming?
Then I started thinking. Was I much different as an adult? Did I slip into the peer pressure game when I signed my child up for a sport when they really weren’t that interested or music lessons when they really weren’t that inclined? Was I really trying to explore all their talents and abilities or was I competing with other adults for best parent award? I didn’t think I played the “Keep up with the Jones’” with material things, but did I do it by competing with my children?
If I was to make myself an instrument in His hands I needed to watch the peer pressure in a lot of different areas. Instead of making my children shine in their talents and abilities on stage or on the playing field, I needed to help them become good citizens and resilient to defeat when hardships came. I needed to reinforce myself to resist the unwise encouragement of others and watch the pride that could easily take over when reason and logic should rule. Could I be steadfast and immovable?
Learning from the experience, I asked myself if I could stand as Daniel’s three friends did when threatened with the fiery furnace. Could I make a difference? Could I influence a king as did Old Testament Daniel when he stood up for God, and stood against the rulers of the time: The king came around, and declared “I make a decree, That in every dominion of my kingdom men tremble and fear before the god of Daniel: for he is the living God and steadfast forever, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed, and his dominion shall be even unto the end. He delivereth and rescueth , and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions” (Daniel 6: 26-27).
Peer pressure. It happens to youth. It happens to adults. It happens to affect us all.