By 35 years old, I’d had 3 close friends take their own lives. Whatever their struggles were, they felt that they were not equipped enough to go on...so they stopped. I was so angry at all three funerals. At each one, I couldn’t pinpoint my anger. There were moments where I was angry with them, moments where I was angry with other people, moments where I was angry with myself, and moments where I was angry at the dirt on the ground and clouds in the sky. I knew the direction of my anger was off about all of them. Finally, it clicked… I was angry about our culture’s lack of education and support for how to deal with struggles. So, instead of just being angry, I decided to do something about it with a twitter account and recently a TEDx Talk.
We do so much to set kids up for success, to help kids avoid failure, to build confidence through wins. We ask kids… “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” The intentions there are SO good, but the results are SO lacking. They ignore the reality that no matter how we protect our kids, they ARE going to fail, struggle, and become frustrated...A lot! We need to put more effort into preparing kids to deal with the failure WHEN it happens, how to #GetUp from the struggles WHEN they occur, how to bounce back from the disappointments WHEN they set in.
What better time for us American adults to take advantage of the here and now, than now?!?!
This election process did not yield the result I wanted. I won’t go any further, politically, than that. There is an abundance of disappointment across this nation. Our kids are living it and watching it… but they’re also watching us! They are watching their parents, their teachers, their bosses, their coaches, their aunts and uncles and grandparents.
Over the last weeks, I heard so many adults, famous and less than famous, pre-emptively claim that they would be moving to another country if their candidate doesn’t win. And now I’m hearing so many pronounce the same declaration, reactively.
This! Now! Here! Today! In our homes and schools and gyms and places of worship! This is our chance to show kids how to properly react to disappointment, losing, failing, and frustration. It’s NOT time to take our ball and go home. It’s time to BE AMERICA. We are NOT a nation of quitters! We dig down, play on the team that was picked for us, and make it as successful of a season as we can make it. If we don’t like a team-mate or our coach or our captain...we don’t HAVE to. But we do need to stop complaining, put our big boy shoes on, lace ‘em up, and play ball WITH them!
This “moving to another country” stuff is insane… joking or not, It’s for the quitter mindset. If we want to move to another country because we want to live in better weather, or experience a different culture, or be closer to family... Awesome!! But leaving this incredible nation (for sure we have faults) because we don’t like our new boss? Grow the… well, we need to grow up!
So, adults...parents, teachers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, bosses, coaches...here we go! This is such an incredible opportunity, right now!! #GetUp and grab your boots & overalls and strap ‘em up! Please...I beg, let’s model for our kids HOW to #GetUp from this and keep moving forward. Let’s dig and grind and forge on with each other so our kids and future can learn how to make the most of challenging scenarios.
Let’s do this, now, PLEASE?!?!