One of the reasons I so enjoy this video is because this young man is addressing High School kids. Most people I know feel awkward and nervous when addressing teenagers.
They are so accustomed to the idea that teens are
- Hard to reach
- Self Centered
This limiting belief in turn, limits the amount of interaction and conversation whenever possible.
In this video, it is clear, that this young man is connecting deeply with these kids. He isn’t afraid of them. He can’t afford to be afraid! If he was, he would still be in bed wondering why he was born with no arms and no legs.
Instead, he invites these young people into his life. He uses his sense of humor and the confidence he has developed over a lifetime of dealing with daily challenges, to connect to a group of individuals who will do more for creating a culture of acceptance and inclusion, than an audience of middle aged, teary-eyed, soft-hearted adults (who, will forget all about this kid in an hour when their lives take center stage again).
It’s not just this young man’s story that is inspiring, but his willingness to “invest”, yes invest, in the younger generation. I suspect, that this one assembly will leave a deeper imprint in the lives of the teenagers, than anything else they attended during their high school experience.
And I suspect that all the “talk” about acceptance, inclusion, tolerance, kindness, respect – that they have been hearing from adults for 15 years means nothing in comparison to these few moments, with a real individual, who openly and honestly shares his story.
This video isn’t just a reminder to us to be grateful for all we have, but a reminder to me, that young people, when given a chance, can become ambassadors for a kinder, more accepting future.
For more about this amazing young man and his story visit http://www.attitudeisaltitude.com/