I have had the joy of seeing the impact of Super Star’s presentation to school students and community members. I have heard comments and feedback shared after the assembly presentations, sometimes days or weeks later, by students sharing how they have been moved, inspired, motivated by his message. And from parents sharing that after the presentation they went home, sat down with their child and talked, sometimes through tears yet always moving to a place of a better understanding of each other and oftentimes healing some scars. That’s why we do what we do what we do at RSSS, to encourage those “crucial conversations”, those conversations that I believe we all crave to experience with those special people in our life.
Some of the words that students have used to describe Super Star are “genuine”, “real”, “honest”, caring” – someone who isn’t “preaching” or “talking down” to them – someone who sees them as people not just “kids”. There has been a theme following our presentations that reinforces to me that kids today have a story they want to share and they desire someone in their life to listen, someone to care enough to create a safe and open place to talk, to take the time to sit with them and hear their story. They crave a place to talk openly about what it’s like at home maybe because mom or dad is an addict or to talk about their concerns with a friend who is using drugs or to about what it’s like to watch a close family member battle a potentially terminal illness or maybe how they don't feel they are good enough or why they themselves use drugs, alcohol or cut themselves or maybe just because they want someone to help make sense of this thing called life.
We each have our stories and oftentimes let those stories define our next move or decision in life. Maybe we have been fed a belief of who we are only to later realize it was a false perception. How awesome if more kids experience having a relationship with someone that listens to them, someone that talks with them and someone that models how to walk through the calm sea and the storms of life with courage and grace. Maybe then more kids would become adults who embraced life and weren’t held hostage from the scars of their untold stories.
This became clearer to me after a female teen shared this piece of writing. To me it tells a story, a story of someone who is looking for some way to release their pain, even if only for a moment.
Here it comes again the depression is finally kicking in. I don't know why I feel like this inside; lost and lonely my home doesn't feel homely. All my friends are out again. All alone I've gone numb. You people are trying to change me, but nothing you say will save me. I am coaxed in my ways I only want one thing - my blade. The bite it feels so right, close my eyes I feel it inside. All this pain is rushing through my veins. Broken inside I start to cry. Take a slice with my knife, this blood is flowing, knowing my pain is slowly going. An unbreakable habit yet I know this pain will only be gone for a moment.
I hear more and more following Super Star's presentations what kids are doing to not “feel” their emotions or – doing in an attempt to quiet the chatter inside of their head through self-destructive behaviors. Cutting is a reality for some people just as addiction, bullying others and eating disorders … each behavior initially sought to serve one purpose - to fill that void by seeking something outside of ourselves to feel differently.
How have we created a society of kids who are trying to avoid their emotions and who don’t understand the value in talking about what is really going on? Maybe because we have become a society of adults who struggle with that same thing. So when is this going to change because more and more kids are spiraling into adulthood with limited coping skills to deal with the ups and downs of life.
There is so much that comes from just being present with another person and sharing our innermost thoughts with someone who truly listens. Realizing that we’re each walking through this life with emotions and experiences that we’re trying to understand and interpret. That really we are meant to be walking this journey in life together; not alone. That’s a world that I desire to live in … a world where we are each accepted for who we are … a world where we are encouraged to delve into our stories to find our own truth … our own path that is made just for us!
I say let’s each make a pact to make an impact on someone today.