In life there are lessons to learn, people to inspire, and to be inspired by. Of course there are the stars of television, radio, and the theaters for people to look up to. There are family and friends considered our “elders” who offer advice, encouragement, and inspiration. You might even experience this from a complete stranger in a God-stop moment. I’m thankful to have each of these yet today, I want to highlight and encourage a couple young women who are an inspiration to me. I’ve talked about both of them before and refer to them often here on the blog or via my Facebook posts too.
Today though, I want to introduce you to our future. “There is hope for our future”, Mary and Alyshia are proof this is a true statement. Have you overheard conversations from people wondering who will take care of them when they get older? Have you had the same thoughts yourself at times? I think we all do because the media typically highlights the negative stories and horrific acts committed by our youth, instead of making a point of recognizing the kiddos making good choices, helping others, and doing exemplar things that once were common and expected but sadly, have become the silent minority.
Last week as I checked my Facebook notifications, one caught my attention more than the others. It was a video posted on my wall by Alyshia Hull. Alyshia isn’t your average high schooler, she is a published author. Her book A Thousand Miles, is a fictional story with true-life struggles weaved in to detail one learning disabled student’s journey through eighth grade. She shares the true-life fears, concerns, joys, and struggles with honesty and emotion. The fictional story created to illustrate these and engage the reader, brought me to tears at points. I’m not sure I would have the courage as a teen to share the tornado of middle school struggles to others, especially my peers. Great Job Alyshia!
The second part to this video was the conspiring done to make it a possibility. God’s orchestrated Alyshia and I spending time together at various book signing and author events. My daughter, Mary, travels with me often, she and Alyshia hit it off. They are both mature for their age, look to the future, and see the world with eyes of an adult. Of course what to wear to prom in a couple years is a conversation piece but to listen and watch them, they see the larger picture. A priceless gift in this day and age. When Alyshia decided to put together the video, she contacted Mary for the song choice and such so the surprise would be the best she could create. Mary chose the perfect song. I’m a huge Mandisa fan.
Mary and Alyshia have more in common than the high school they attend, a love for photography, their gift to write, and bubbly personalities. Both carry themselves with an authentic beauty many teens try to hide. They exemplify, “What you see, is what you get”. They are confident in who they are and understand the world is bigger than the walls of their school and continually search for ways to expand their gifts, talents, and aspirations. These two give me hope and should restore hope to you all. There are girls and boys, young men and women, and young adults with similar traits in your neighborhood too – sadly, we need to look a little closer to recognize them.
These are the same kiddos who do what is right, think of others, help, volunteer, and make good and honorable choices the majority of the time (no one is perfect remember and they are kids) yet because they don’t make a big deal about their “do-gooding” ~ they are overlooked. Their stories and acts of kindness don’t make the news because it doesn’t tend to produce as high of ratings for the news reporters.
I wonder what would happen if every news and radio station set aside two minutes for each broadcast to spotlight the “Do-Gooders” in our neighborhoods, what would happen? Instead of the attention deprived kiddos and young adults doing something negative to be noticed, maybe they would choose to do something good in hopes of making the news?
I am encouraged by Alyshia and Mary. Their surprise video is below for you to enjoy too – I cried the first two times I watched it!! I looked up to grab a tissue and there was my girl smiling at me. Mary said, “Glad you like it Mom. Alyshia hoped you would. We messaged back and forth the other night.”
There is hope for the future and there are amazing teens and young adults waiting to be noticed and recognized in your circle of reach. I pray you’ll slow down to recognize them. We can’t ignore the kiddos making bold statements to stand out of course, they need attention too, but maybe if you stop to say “Good book” to the one reading on the stairs watching the others – or say “Thank you” to the one who steps to the side to let you pass or through instead of running you down – or make a positive comment to a group of kids hanging at the park to make note of “It’s good to see close friends getting together and enjoying the park”…who knows what could happen.
We can’t change the world but we definitely make a difference in our circle of life. Encourage our kiddos, young adults, and even the adults around you.
We all need to be inspired and encouraged daily –
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323