I Believe

Posted: December 23, 2011 in Monday Morning Message

I love winter and the holidays that come with it. It has always seemed to me to be a magical time of the year. One of the traditions we all look forward to is watching the Polar Express.

The Polar Express is one of my favorite holiday movies and has a powerful story about the importance of believing. It always makes me sad at the end of the movie that so many people don’t hear the ringing of the bell anymore, that they stopped believing. Is it silly kid’s stuff or is there power in childlike belief? As I reflect on young people and our work in helping them to reach their full potential as competent, confident, leaders of character who contribute and are connected to their communities, I believe:

  • Youth are one of our greatest resources.  There are so many things we can learn from our young people from technology to their ability to think through challenges with a positive outlook.  I believe they are one of our most under-utilized resources.
  • Youth who know what their SPARK is have a deeper sense of how they fit into this world.  When a spark is ignited, it has the potential of turning into a firestorm!  One of the greatest gifts we can give a young person is the opportunity to discover their spark. 
  • Youth who have a mindset for growth are more prepared to face what life throws at them.  Youth who see challenges as an opportunity to learn and grow will tend to embrace change with confidence.  It is important that we support this mindset by providing affirmation using language that encourages growth.
  • Youth who are connected to caring adults and peers are more likely to thrive and succeed.  A sense of belonging is one of the greatest emotional needs of humanity.  The stronger the relationships our young people have with others, the more support they have to help them thrive.
  • Youth who know where they want to go and have the tools to get there, usually will.  When we help young people identify goals, develop strategies to reach them, and help them learn how to navigate through challenges, we are teaching them a process that will help them stay on a path of thriving.

Through all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, I hope that you don’t lose the wonder, awe and magic of the power of belief.  Thank you all for giving the greatest gift you have to young people, your lives!  As I told my daughter Kylie the other day, “daddy still hears the bell!”

Happy Holidays!!!



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