This post is not about CrossFit or lifting weights. It is not about Thrusters, Wall Balls or lifting heavy. It is about changing the world. It is about being something bigger and starting to do more for our youth. And I do mean actually doing something.
Think long and hard about your life and where we are at today. When was the last time that you remember a school celebrating an academic achievement? When was there a pep rally for all those that had straight A’s?
I am cyber-friends with several people that want to see our kids be more, do more and see that change that is necessary in this world. How do we do it?
I read there posts and comments and read that articles that they post that deal with our youth dreaming about being athletes and singers. They believe that their best chance at life is to be in the 1% that makes it big. Somehow everyone wants to be a millionaire but they think that the only way to succeed in life is to somehow break out by being really good with a ball in their hand.
They want to be Jay-Z, Beyonce, Russell Wilson, or whoever is out there in front of the public. They will even accept being another sex symbol that uses their body to “make it”. It saddens me, but I don’t blame them. It is all that they see all that they know. It is what success looks like and the only thing that is celebrated.
High school football is on ESPN, athletes are made gods at an early age and those kids with brains are made outcasts. It is not cool to follow the path of knowledge. Get really good with a ball or get street cred…then you might make it.
I am not knocking Jay-Z or any of those people. Many of them are brilliant, but it is not what is celebrated about them. Their business acumen is pushed to the background of their sick flow and rhyme skills. Only those people looking find the articles about them turning themselves into a brand and not just someone who likes the spotlight.
I want to change my community and the youth that are growing up here. I have two daughters that I want to go after their dreams, but I also want them to see how hard it is to make it big. I want the schools here to remind kids that while having the money of a Jay-Z and Beyonce is good, but having the skills of Markus “Notch” Persson might be better.
I want to see a program start that doesn’t just bring in a guest speaker to talk to kids about the business world, but helps put them right in the middle of the action. They mentor these kids of all “at risk” levels and help them to learn the skills to start a business, to run a business, to create a product and see it grow. I want successful business owners to give back to the community and give something better than computers and stuff. Give these kids access to them.
Let these kids know that there are heroes in society that have more than a sick crossover or amazing lyrical abilities. Show these kids that you can control your own destiny with hard work and a little luck. If we want kids to change the future, then we have to give them a better path and better examples.
We all love a good movie about someone who made it out or changed their life around. We marvel at the kid who was at-risk and is now living large, but I want to see more kids get that drive. We have to do better as a society if we really want the change to happen.
I am not looking for everything to be given to them, I am asking for us to set a better example. I am calling on all of us to stop talking and throwing money at this problem (even though we don’t really do a lot of that) and start caring about what is happening all around us.
I am willing to throw my hat in the ring. I will work with a local school or local youth group to help kids see how to build something real from the ground up. I will work with a kid to help teach them that failing is not an ending, but a beginning. I will take a group of youth and try to help make their ideas a reality and then when they succeed or when they fail. I will celebrate the work that they put in and the lessons they learned.
Then maybe, some day after I am dead and gone…they will make a movie about those kids who made it out. Maybe I can be a footnote in that story…
It’s not about whether you can or you can’t…it’s about whether you will or you won’t!