Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The 'Never' Children - 6-3-09 Editor's Column

Every now and then a conversation comes along that takes you back to your childhood.

For better or worse, you find yourself reminiscing about made you laugh, what made you cry, what made you nervous and what made you feel determined.

I was reminded the other day of some of those things when I spoke with a friend of mine about what it was like to be one of the “never children,” - the kids that people say will “never” do this or that, will “never” achieve this or “never” amount to that.

She and I came to two conclusions during this conversation: 1. That Mahomet has too many “never” kids and 2. That it is our duty to encourage those children who hear and often believe the “nevers” that swirl around their ears.

First of all, any town that has even one child that is looked upon as one that will “never” do anything has too many “never” kids. Yet, we let things like the socioeconomic climate of our town affect the way that we see potential.

For example, when I was in school, Candlewood Estates was considered a poor area, and by way of association, kids that grew up there - some of them my friends - were designated “never” kids.
However, as a bit of news to those who don’t know it, the poor don’t just live in Candlewood - they live everywhere in Mahomet. On the same token, poor doesn’t mean stupid, nor does privileged mean smart.

All that matters is that our youth - no matter where they live - are encouraged to be great. That’s it. Just be encouraging.

That brings me to the second point: We, as responsible adults, hold an important key to the future of our youth in the simple affirmations, accolades and encouragement that we provide them.

Think of the kids that find themselves getting into trouble at young ages. It’s easy to say that those kids are just bad eggs, but what about taking a step back and considering their home lives?
I know that a huge part of who I am today is because of the encouragement that I had from my family and friends.

Having dealt with depression while I was in school, I know what it’s like to be one of those “never” kids, but my parents and my friends were there for me and helped me see that I could do great things, just like you can help someone else see that he or she can do great things.

Getting back to the conversation I had with my friend, she said that we always remember two people in life, “you remember the people who were bad to you and you remember the people who encouraged you.” Which one do you want to be remembered as?

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