mrs. neal's not-so-conventional MEDITATION [CLASS] for TEENS...

...the book and the recorded meditation


And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it;
or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.

1 Corinthians 12:26


Anyone — or anything — that serves to help guide your decisions based on morals or virtues is part of your Moral Compass.

Your Moral Compass is what influences you to choose to do what you do, and to behave the way you behave.


From that moment when you were conceived, your environment began to influence who you would become.

(I will not get into a debate here about when life begins — this comment is based on my personal beliefs, with no apologies).

After you were born, and as you have continued to grow, the people who have been in your life have taught you about “normal” behavior. They — along with the other sensory influences in your life — have helped to set your Moral Compass.

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From Whom Have You Learned Your Morals?

While everything in your environment has an effect on you, the people who are closest to you have the greatest influence.

Think about the people in your life.

Who are your role models? Who do you look up to?

Think about the influence these people have had on you and how they have helped to shape your ideas, opinions, ethics, values and morals.

Anyone can be a positive — or, not-so-positive — role model. Go beyond family and friends, and include anyone you may encounter or anyone who influences you in any way — your teachers, your spiritual leader (rabbi, pastor, priest, minister), a community leader, your parents’ friends, a singer, actor, athlete or other celebrity, even the cashier at the grocery store.

Think about how these people have influenced you.


Think about the movies, TV programs, or sports you watch, or the video games you play, or the music you listen to — and think about the people who are part of that entertainment culture.

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Positive Role Model...

Positive role models tend to have a lot in common. They work for the greater good to make their community a better place, they are compassionate and are committed to what they do, they are able to achieve the goals they set, they have set high standards for themselves, they have good ethics, and they are admired for their strength and courage, and their ability to be a good influence on those around them.

Think about it.

Who might you know who fits the description of a positive role model?

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...or Not?

While there are plenty of really good role models, there are also a lot of not-so-good role models and — unfortunately — they can have a strong influence in your life, too.

Think about that female singer who feels the need to get up on a stage wearing barely more than underwear, and gyrate obscenely to get any attention she can get.

This has nothing to do with her singing talent — this is a gimmick to boost sales of her albums, perfume, clothing line, and so on. She wants your money.


This is someone I absolutely would not suggest my students look up to as a positive role model.

This singer might be a nice enough person — she may go to church every Sunday, and help the poor every chance she gets. However, the image she projects while performing is the one that young people will see, and this is the image they will remember and emulate.


Now, how about that athlete who is being paid millions of dollars to play a game, and chooses to spend his millions on drugs, alcohol, and partying at his huge house — and only places value on those material things?

Again, this is not someone I would suggest as a positive role model.

He, too, may be a nice person who volunteers at homeless shelters and visits kids in hospitals. However, the image young people see is that guy wearing all the bling with half-dressed girls hanging on him. This is what impresses young people, influences them, and helps to set their Moral Compasses.


Think about the people you look up to as role models. What are their priorities? If they are interested only in how much money they can get you to spend buying their products and supporting them, are they really worthy of your time and attention?

Are they worthy of the honor of having such an influence in your life?

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What Is Celebrity All About, Anyway?

While I’m on this topic, here’s something else for you to think about: why are these people (the “celebrities”) being elevated to a “royal” status? What, exactly have they done that is so extraordinary that they should be worshipped by the masses?


Think about the people you know in your community who are hard-working and dedicated, and who do their jobs well.

What makes “celebrities” different from those people in your community? What makes them more important, more worthy of attention?


And, again, are they truly worthy of the honor of helping to set anyone’s Moral Compass?

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Now, Let’s Take This One Step Further...

Think about this for a minute: just as you have role models who have helped you to set your Moral Compass; there are those whose Moral Compass you help to set.

Do you have a child of your own, or younger siblings, or cousins, nieces or nephews? How about that kid next door? Or that little kid who lives down the street and follows you around all the time? You know the one I mean — that one who thinks you are just the coolest kid ever?


You may not have signed up for it, and you may not want the responsibility of being a role model,
but — like it or not — you are a role model to someone in your life.


The next time you find yourself in the presence of any younger kids, be aware of your behavior, your language, even how you dress. Just as you have been influenced by others, you are in a position to have an influence on others.


Whether you are looking up to someone, or someone is looking up to you, choose wisely when you are setting your Moral Compass.

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Who are you allowing to influence you,
and are they worthy of that honor?




Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices  but honestly and courageously
uses his intelligence.

– Albert Einstein, physicist