“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” ~Franklin D. Roosevelt
Today’s inspirational thoughts seek to inspire you to use the best of yourself to touch the life of a child, pre-teen, or young adult. This goes far beyond the four walls of your own home, so please don’t underestimate your reach.
The future of every country, state, province and community truly lies in the hands of its youth. It is through them that we make the greatest difference; yet many youth grow up without the life skills needed to reach their potential.
To nurture, protect, teach, inspire, and love your own children is expected; but why not shine your light on other young people who cross your path. Provide help for youth who didn’t come into this world with nurturing parents. Don’t forget about those whose parents struggle to provide for them, working jobs that keep them away from home day and night. What about the young people whose parents shower them with ridicule instead of love, neglect instead of attention, control instead of guidance, money instead of attention, preparation for the streets rather than preparation for college?
“The impersonal hand of government can never replace the helping hand of a neighbor.” ~Hubert H. Humphrey
It’s easy to judge the youth of today as disrespectful, unruly, under-educated, or reckless; but judgment is as useless as it is easy. Our children and young adults need help. In many cases they need more help than what is available at home. I’m not talking about help that comes in the form of a check written to your favorite charity. What I’m talking about is taking every chance you have to share the benefits of your self improvement and personal growth success with our youth. This type of help for youth comes from a truly compassionate, caring, loving heart.
You may not be perfect, but there is something perfect about you. Pass it on to help the youth. Use the best of yourself to put a crack, however small, in the destructive cycle of hurt that destroys young lives all around the globe. It is not just that young life you will touch; it is your own life, the lives of your loved ones, and the lives of each person on this planet.
It’s time to add personal accountability to the equation when observing both the best and the worst of our world. Every prostitute, beggar, drug dealer, thief, rapist and murderer of today reflects a multitude of missed opportunities for people like you and me to inspire a better path. It’s much easier to encourage a young person to create a better tomorrow than it is to deal with the results of looking the other way.
“When Nike says, just do it, that’s a message of empowerment. Why aren’t the rest of us speaking to young people in a voice of inspiration?” ~Naomi Klein
We as a people are responsible for creating the change we want to see in the world. The abused child of today is as much our responsibility as the abuser s/he becomes in a decade. The unfortunate child of a drug addicted mother and absent father shouldn’t have to grow up to destroy our neighborhoods or kill our loved ones before we pay attention.
Every action or inaction you take on behalf of others exemplifies the true extent to which you’ve evolved as a member of the human race. Will you overlook the misguided, unloved and unlucky until forced (time and time again) to see that their problems ARE your problems? Will you sit around blaming the teachers, parents, music and media for what you yourself have a chance to improve? To disregard the needs of our youth is to disregard a part of yourself.
How many lifetimes does it take to get the lesson: We are all one and therefore responsible for each other. Our world is a testament of the degree to which we honor this lesson. We see the product of apathy, neglect, greed and indifference on the news each day: destroyed neighborhoods, orphans, homelessness, prostitution, divorce, innocence lost, robberies, homicide, school shootings, children killed by parents, parents killed by children. All the results of living under the illusion of separateness.
“Our youth are not failing the system; the system is failing our youth. Ironically, the very youth who are being treated the worst are the young people who are going to lead us out of this nightmare.” ~Rachel Jackson
There is no separation between you and me, rich and poor, black and white, Christian and Atheist, able and disabled. Like it or not, we are one. Directly or indirectly, you have an effect on my child’s life and I have an effect on yours.
You can blame and criticize the man who abandons his family, but don’t forget about the men who could’ve taken the time to teach him the responsibilities of manhood when he was a young boy? The abusive mother—shame on her. But also shame on everyone who didn’t step in to nurture, protect and love when she was on the other side of that abuse.
Going forward with your day, ask yourself what small measure you can take to positively influence a young life. This doesn’t just apply to children in poverty stricken homes. There are young people in the wealthiest suburbs who feel alone in this world, misunderstood and unable to talk to their parents. Show them understanding and set a positive example that they might follow. Speak up for them when they can’t speak up for themselves. Talk to them about consequences, lessons learned, and opportunities for success.
If you’ll just make yourself available, taking every opportunity to guide a young life, a few minutes of your life may save another life.
“In the end, poverty, putridity and pestilence; work, wealth and worry; health, happiness and hell, all simmer down into village problems.” ~Martin H. Fischer
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