As we absorb the news now on a 24 x 7 cycle it is critical that we are proactive as adults who care about youth today and the messages they hear. It is easy for youth to not be able to distinguish between what the media presents and the messages we give:
- To respect others
- To be compassionate and caring
- To not bully
- To communicate honestly
- To follow rules
- To work hard and have purpose
- To believe in a positive future
I read a wonderful piece today written by Dr. Edward Hallowell, a personal friend and colleague. It was inspiring as he shared the ever more important and powerful role of connection and caring in today’s world.
Connection can be toward family, to friends, to community, to nature, to animals, to self, to a higher power. No matter the form it takes, what matters is that we foster the essence of connection and help underscore how connection emboldens resilience. Resilience is the ability to handle life’s ups and downs, which are inevitable.
What I want to encourage all of us to do is to raise up our voices and help youth ask important questions, be ready to answer them carefully, to foster dialog. This is a time we can all learn and value connection, compassion, caring, honesty, following rules, and living life with work and purpose. There is no right answer, but what is correct is open, clear, honest, compelling dialog and connection.