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!
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.
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.