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This week, we look at Asset #40, a Positive View of Personal Future. According to the Search Institute, “Youth are more likely to grow up healthy when they are optimistic about their personal future.” Nationally it is reported that 74 percent of youth have this asset.
If you set aside the national economic news, the future seems to have a connotation of looking a little rosier. It does seem that lately everyone seems to try a little harder to get along, to work together and to make a difference.
That is exactly the point I’m trying to make. Once again, we need to inquire about what youth want to do, no matter how different it is from what we want for the children in our community; we need to find the silver lining.
If what they want to do just doesn’t seem possible, then you can always talk about a plan B, but don’t squash their dreams. No one has a right to squash someone’s dreams, but it happens all the time.
It also doesn’t mean that the idea that we want at age 14 turns out to be what we do at age 40. The truth is in seventh or eighth grade, I was dead set on joining the United States Marine Corps, Ooh-Rah. My brother was in the Corp and it seemed like the path to follow all the way up until college.
Then I met a Navy man, the man I would marry and none of that seemed to matter anymore.
I’m sure anyone with a daughter reading this doesn’t get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the idea that one career choice would derail the other, but it worked for me. That change in plans meant I went to college, got a degree instead and today have three wonderful children. I was lucky that Idaho had more potatoes than Marines because it led me down a different path.
The military is a great place if you come from a family that can’t afford to send you to college. The military offers continuing education, health care, discipline and a sense of family that more than rivals that of a school community.
There are many things you can’t control in the future, but the one thing you can control is your attitude. If you seek doom and gloom, it will come. If like Eeyore you have the “Woe is me attitude,” you will attract the woe friends and situations.
There’s a lady I see everyday of the week and although she’s not one of my personal friends, it makes me smile, just to see her. She has a beautiful glow that just radiates a certain wonderfulness that makes you say hello.
The truth is you never know what is going on with someone.
I believe that everyone should go the extra mile to be nice to other people, especially people that seem a little ornery on a given day.
You might be the person to change the path and re-frame their outlook for the day. You might be the bright spot in the course of their day.
So seek out of youth, find out what makes them tick and try and find something positive to say, no matter what the situation.
Our young people today face a lot more than we ever dreamed of, do a lot more than we have thought of and have the opportunities in life that we never imagined, and you can be the one to aid the process for any person of any age and on any day.
Bernadette Lauritzen is the Coordinator of the Assets In Action program, sponsored by the Juvenile Justice Advisory board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce.
A miniature golf fundraiser is planned for Feb. 28. Please listen to AM 1490, check out the Monitor and www.AssetsInAction.info for more information.