Be a Hero
I have had the chance to be in touch with over one thousand heroes this week. There are of course many kinds of heroes. In this case, I am referring the above quote from Fred Rogers, “Anyone who does anything to help a child is a hero to me.”
Last week our Samaritan Family Wellness Foundation began offering a free download of our Teen Compass Wellness Notebook, a link to which can be found at www.theteencompass.org. Since then, over one thousand people have responded. People from every state and ten different countries have taken us up on our offer. We can see from the orders and posts on social media that these people work with youth in a variety of capacities; they are teachers, school counselors, faith leaders, parents, grandparents, scout leaders, youth ministers, marriage and family therapists, social workers, school administrators, non-profit youth leaders, state and county youth mental health workers, and a variety of other adults who care deeply about the well-being of our young people. Each of these people is a hero in my opinion.
All of us have the capacity to influence young people, simply by the behaviors and choices we model in our own lives. Another of my favorite quotes about helping young people, this one from basketball coach John Wooden, makes this point, “Young people need models, not critics.” Teens don’t need, “What’s wrong with young people today?” Instead, they need adults who model values, character, and wellness, and who are willing to get involved and be a positive influence.
And if you wonder if young people are really influenced by the important adults in their lives, here’s one last quote to remind us that whether they appear to be listening or not, they are paying attention. Author Robert Fulgrum reminds us, “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.”
Who are the youth in your life, in your corner of the world that you have a chance to positively influence? Our youth need us as models, not critics, and they are always watching us, even when it may not appear that are not listening to us. So go ahead-be a hero and make a difference in some young person’s life today.
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