The Heart of the Matter
After such a long spring, and the forecast of a slightly warmer average summer ahead of us, who of us hasn’t been out to take a walk – a walk alone – a walk with our spouse – a walk with a neighbor friend? Here is a group that needs your personal time: children. It doesn’t matter their age or yours. If you want to make a favorable change in the life of a very impressionable human being; take a young person for a walk. And while you walk, talk. Talk about family, sports, outdoors, current events. If they ask how life was when you were young (How inviting that would be, right?), keep your excitement and the synopsis short.
Listen twice as much as you talk. After all, you were given two ears and only one mouth. You may not understand all that youth wants to talk about, or the expressions they frequently use, but the mutual experience you both have is such a growth experience for our youth. Their electronic social media experience is NOTHING like what you experienced as a youth. And unfortunately, it is morphing their outlook on life, friends, the world, family, good and bad, everything. That’s where you come in. Your smile, handclasp, walk and talk puts a youngster back into the most real human interaction, the most vital of all interaction, real, virtual or otherwise.
Speaking of children, I recently was treated to a board meeting and tour of the educational experiences provided by service agencies to assist underprivileged children from the homes within the boundaries of the Title 1 Copperview Elementary School on Monroe Street. I met a representative from Canyons School District, the principal of the school and two program specialists, as well as four representatives of United Way. These dedicated leaders, together with the after-school teachers and parents, help between 50 and 80 children daily receive accelerated learning exercises to bring their language and learning skills to a much higher level of achievement. Not everyone living in a Midvale family can communicate well within the society; not everyone has three square meals a day; not everyone has access to computers and the Internet. But with before-school meals, and after-school instruction and fun practices, our less advantaged student-children are provided with fair, equal, and significant opportunities to obtain a high-quality education.
I want to thank the dedicated school employees and community service agents and most of all, the dedicated parents and eager learners for putting so much energy into our children’s future. These children are our future. They will rise to do many great personal accomplishments with sufficient education, care, love and being valued as individuals.