Assets in Action: It's small things that make a difference

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

It is the little things that make the difference, because you never know what is going on in someone’s life.
I’ll give you an example that I hesitate to share, because the purpose isn’t to evoke an “awwww” from you the next time I see you, but for you to see something a little differently.
The last six months of 2013 really sucked, to be honest with you.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some pretty awesome things that happened too, but every month from July through December, something difficult in the Lauritzen family took place.
The things ranged from major family medical issues, to a vehicle accident and really, just more than you could imagine.
While I won’t get into details here, suffice it to say that each month got harder and harder to the point where we didn’t always share what was taking place.
It wasn’t because we didn’t want people to know, or didn’t want to share; it was the simple fact that it was difficult thing after difficult thing that eventually seemed unreal, making me feel like a drama queen or at the least, Debbie Downer, from “Saturday Night Live.”
Our close friends were great, being kind, making dinners from time to time and mainly listening to the occasional vent.
The thing is, even as a 45-year-old woman, I felt like things seemed to get more tragic with each month, and never having good news was too draining to talk about, for even one more minute.
So if it can happen to me, what about the 14, 15, 16, 17-year-old that doesn’t have the world experience to know that it will get better?
So next week, one local good egg will rally readers to have a Community Read for a great book, “Stopping at Every Lemonade Stand, Creating a Culture that Cares for Kids.”
Heather McClenahan, executive director of the Los Alamos Historical Society, thought of the book when she was repeatedly asked, “what can be done for the youth of the community?”
The book, which she read five years ago came to mind, and the future holds facilitated conversations, hopefully ending in a Skype with the author, James Vollbracht.
The most important thing is what the Assets program has known all along, that the importance of relationships exists on a multitude of levels.
Our goal as adults is to connect to those relationships for ourselves and to teach youth over time to develop them too.
So give the YMCA a call and purchase a copy for $10 and be on the lookout for Los Alamos and White Rock facilitated conversations.
If you are a Kindle type of person, then download today and start reading.
Can a glass of lemonade change the world? Well it just might, and it will definitely be the best 25 or 50 cents might spend all summer long.
Assets In Action is sponsored by the JJAB and the Los Alamos Commerce and Development Corporation.
For more information is available by calling 695-9139.