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Raise our young people up

by inspire on March 18, 2008

“There is no life, no life without its hunger” – You raise me up

Aside: Thank you for taking the time to read this article (5/10 mins). Also remember this Thursday, Holy Thursday, 20th March is an opportunity for some deep inspirational and reflection with the Dare to Dream inspirational evening. Click here for details.

Sometimes it’s preferable to blame everyone else for the things that are wrong in our world. Sometimes we really don’t want to look at it or hear about it.

Last week a national radio show in Ireland had listeners phoning up giving out about the fact that teenagers are filming each other fighting and then posting it on youtube. “It’s disgusting!”, “I blame the parents myself”, were the types of comments I heard. However the night before I saw the actor Sean Penn in a film butcher someone with a hammer in the name of entertainment. The difference of course being that this film makes a lot of money for those involved in creating it! So how can we turn to our children and tell them the violent  films they create are wrong!

What can we do? We can reach out to the younger generation and offer them whatever wisdom we have in a gentle and understanding way.

This morning I was walking our dog on a beautiful sunny day here in Ireland. I went through a field near where I live and saw too young teenagers rolling what they said to me later was a cigarette. I approached them and asked them what it was. I also asked the young man what did it do for him? Firstly I’m sure they thought “oh go away you nosy adult” as their heads bowed and they looked at the ground spitting out bits of tobaco. Anyway I wasent going anywhere until I offered a few words.

“I started smoking a long time ago and I’ll give them up soon”, the young man said. “What age are you?” I asked. “Fifteen … ” pause “well nearly fifteen!”, he replied. So I asked him what did he love to do?”  ”I love football.” he replied.  ”Well go play ball, do what you love”, I said to them. “Everyone hung around when they were growing up and many including myself experimented with cigarettes, but dont hang around for too long. You’re here for a reason. Go do what you love and help others do the same”.

The two young men now looked at me as I began to walk on with our little dog, who was a bit nervous in their presence. They even thanked me as I left. I hope they reflect on my words and it helps them realise the truth of who they are, whether they will or not is up to them. As I walked away I looked back and said “you’re good lads, do what you love”.

You see it’s our identity that drives our behaviour. If our young teenagers have a limited, negative, even violent identity then they will act in a limited, negative and even violent way. And when we start labelling them as such we are adding to the problem. We must help them realise the greatness that is within them and most importantly that they identify with this greatness. If we achieve this they will have no desire to make violent films, in fact no desire to even watch the ones we make and no desire to use external substances we sell to help them feel good about themselves. “Oh whats the use” you may say or “what difference can I make?” Touch one young person in a positive way and you’ve made a positive difference, the ripple of which can help create great leaders.

Let’s stop blaming and do something instead. Let us remember that these young people are the future leaders of our world. Let us remember that it is our example they will follow. Do something to help a young person this week. Heres a great video to help inspire you – Brian Kennedy singing “you raise me up” with beautiful backup singers:

Sean M Kelly

ps: the Dare to Dream evening will take place this Thursday evening and all are welcome. To register and for more details click here:

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Debbie Darling March 18, 2008 at 1:44 pm

Sean thanks a million. That just blew me away! See you Thursday. Really looking forward to it.

Elaine March 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm

Wow what a wonderful clip. Thanks so much. Have a great time away and all the very best with the book. We will miss you.

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