Saturday 24 March 2018

Brendan O'Connor: You need to know the rules of the game before you go breaking them

If our teenagers are to avoid making huge mistakes, they must be taught that sex is not soulless

Brendan O'Connor

Brendan O'Connor

BEFORE there was mindfulness, there was spirituality. It became fashionable for a certain type of person to say: "Well I'm not religious. But I think I am a very spiritual person." And that turned a lot of other people off the idea of being spiritual. Just as everyone is currently becoming allergic to the notion of "mindfulness", which has become very in vogue recently in the self- help or mind/body/spirit section of the book shops.

Such is the baggage carried by notions like spirituality and mindfulness, and the baggage of the good old-fashioned religion that preceded them, that people run a mile from any suggestion of any kind of spiritual conversation.

We saw it again when Niamh Horan's article in last week's Sindo prompted a revival of the age-old discussion of what the young people are up to. What we have seen in the past week has been largely an interesting but incomplete discussion of how best to educate our young people about sex, and how to protect them from doing things they might come to regret. The discussion was incomplete because there was no "spiritual" dimension to it.

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