Children are not raised in a bubble, or at least they shouldn’t be. If your job as a parent is to keep your kids safe and fed and to prepare them for the real world, you do them a great disservice by positioning yourself as the deliverer of all lessons, and the keeper of all truths.
Our children crave exposure to a variety of caregivers, teachers, and role models who are prepared to hear them and engage them. Creating and participating in such child-centered communities should be a major priority in our lives–yes, all of us.
When was the last time someone said to you in passing that being a positive role model was among their top priorities? Let me help you out. The answer is: Never. Let’s face it: being a positive role model is generally associated with TV talk, often from people who are trying to sell you something or–worse–trying to repay their debt to society (Think convicted celebrities sentenced to community service–Read: trying to save their careers).
But there are a few warriors out there, who defy common wisdom and get involved in raising and influencing other people’s children. They do this despite the scorn and public scrutiny they so often receive. They do not choose to connect with kids and make a difference. They are compelled to. They do it because they have to.
These are the heroes of our communities ladies and gentlemen. The coaches, camp counselors, teachers, and after school mentors who are in it for all the right reasons. Talk to them and you’ll find that (for most) their motivation to succeed has always involved giving something back to the community that supported them. These are the individuals who are making a difference; who are bold enough to give your kids what they yearn for: entertainment, interaction, and inner strength.
Introducing dribbling phenom Luis “Trikz” Da Silva. In all seriousness, although he’s not in the NBA–he didn’t even make the starting 5 on his high school basketball team–he has what most consider to be the sickest handles (dribbling skill) in the world. And all he can think about doing with that talent is getting through to your kids and making a difference in their lives.
Listen to the passion in Da Silva’s voice when he gives his 5 reasons for reaching out (at the end):
And here’s the Nike commercial that broke his career:
Much, much respect.