By Charissa Patterson-Martinez
What message do you want to ensure that generations behind us get? What are you doing to ensure that our young people are ready mind, body and soul? Whether we like it or not, young people are watching us. They see how we handle a rude receptionist and hear us how we address people in authority in our own communities. I hope that we all agree that we want our youth to be respectful to each other and to others. This starts at home but it does not end there.
Too often I have seen parents who have a disagreement with the adults who work closely with their children every day and for the most part, both the parents and the teachers, administrators find a way to amicably communicate with one another and have positive results. Conversely, I have also seen parents and sometimes administrators' model bad behavior. Instead truly hearing what the administrator has to share about the youth to his parents, some parent tends to go on the defensive immediately. The parents seem unwilling to the possibilities that their child could possibly demonstrate the behavior that this adult is expressing. I have even observed shouting matches and both parties stand unwavering on their views no matter how right are wrong they are. This is so wrong on so many counts and unfortunately becomes a blueprint on how to deal with someone whose opinion differs from you own.
On the other hand I have seen adults make rash assumptions about youth based on personal biases and prejudices. This shut out, ultimately slams the door in their faces when instead a welcome mat is in need to be set out. That young person may have a need and seeks to hear your and be listened to. That young person may be ready for an opportunity to do what you never thought they were capable of.
This is a poor example of what it means to respect other people as you would want to be respected. If we choose to continue to perform this scenario, it seems inevitable that we will numb our children to what it means to feel empathy and compassionate attitudes toward one another.
We are all interdependent. Missions begin with one person and grow to a group and then a community and so on. Our mission should be to invest in our children's self-worth, self-respect and love them. We need to do this so that he will know his worth and, and knows how to love and respect others. The truth is that the more comfortable we feel with ourselves and knowing without a doubt that we are an unstoppable force of great things to be, we become more invincible. When this happens, the easier it becomes to set goals and do the work to obtain your goals. Without feeling there is no love and without love how will we ever manage to take care of one another?
Get on that mission today. Reach out to a youth today, it does not have to be your own, though your own is a great start. Our future really does depend on it.
Charissa Patterson-Martinez is a wife, mother, daughter and friend. She is also a motivational speaker and writes about inspiring individuals who seek personal empowerment, enrichment and enlightenment. Charissa is originally from Lansing, MI and currently lives in Lens, Belgium. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at Be PHREEE
This was printed in the July 29, 2012 - August 11, 2012 Edition