Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Gift of You

Today a child will be born to parents who will support and love them all of their lives. They will never have to wonder where their next meal will come from or if they get to sleep in the bed tonight. They will have warm coats for the winter, most likely new, and will be able to attend camps in the summer. During the holidays they will receive new toys and sit by the fire sipping hot beverages and enjoying their families.

Today at that same time another child will be born by a single mother who is scared. They will never grow up to know their father and will never know when their next meal will be served to them. They will live in borrowed or donated clothes and be bumped from family member to family member as their mom is in and out of prison. They will face physical abuse by their caregiver, sometimes sexual, and will ultimately be put in custody of the state and moved into a home where they will be raised by a group of people who are on “shift”.

These are two children born on the same day, but are walking into two completely different starts in life. Statistics show that one kid has a much greater chance of living a successful and productive life, but they do not mean that one kid will be more successful than the other. Each kid will go through good times, struggles, and everything else that children face on the road to adulthood. The paths of these two lives will most likely never pass, but each life will share one thing in common; at some point someone is going to make a life altering impact on that child, which in turn will shape them into the type of adults that they will become.

Think of yourself, there is someone who has made a profound difference in your life, someone who saw something in you and exposed it so that you could find your success or failures in life. They were your support, your mentor in life, and the person that you now can look back on and realize that without that person, your life would be drastically different. These people enter your life at different times and mean different things to you, but ultimately they influence you and have in some way pushed you to become what you currently are.

You were one of these kids. You had a parent, teacher, coach, or role model take the time to invest in you. Now it is your time to invest in someone else. Spend more time with your kids, spend more time with your kids friends, coach a youth sports team, volunteer for a non-profit organization, become a big brother or big sister, or just do something where you can give to someone else what was given to you….the feeling of someone believing in you and giving you that chance to succeed. It is your responsibility to not let someone else’s efforts die with you. Pass the torch on to another, because we have all seen what happens when the wrong influence is able to get a hold on the youth of today.

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