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Spring break is a time of renewal, of the Earth and of the spirit. I hope you have enjoyed the time off last week if you have children or grandchildren. It is always lovely to see the college students come home for a few days even if it is to do a few loads of laundry and eat a good meal.
As we see new growth popping up through the ground, I hope we’ll use this as a time to allow for new growth in ourselves and helping our youth to find it within them.
Over the last week, I have enjoyed taking opportunities to let youth know they are doing a good job. The first opportunity was when I saw a teenage boy, with a Mohawk, and a girl waiting with twins for the city bus.
We were walking our dogs, so my inclination was to cross over to the other side of the street. Then it dawned on me that there couldn’t possibly be two teenagers with baby carriers waiting for the bus. We proceeded past to take note of the fact that the babies weren’t real.
I extended my compliments for what a good job they were doing with their children. I’m sure it seemed odd to them that some strange woman would make a remark, but hey, why not. The truth is these students could have just hung out at home, not venturing far because they had to deal with toting around a fake baby, let alone a real one. They were out of their comfort zone for sure, so why not take a moment to say a kind word?
This past week contained a day called “Mom and Pop Business Appreciation Day.” We have many mom and pop businesses in Los Alamos and even if we don’t always have the opportunity to shop there, we can let them know we appreciate their work. I’m sure the youth there thought I was odd when I brought in a plate of cookies, but that’s how I roll.
So I would like for you to begin showing youth that you appreciate them in small ways. It doesn’t matter if it is your child, a neighborhood youth or the bagger at the grocery store. Take a second and tell some student that they’ve done a good job.
If you know of a young person who has a certain skill that can be utilized in the community, bring it to their attention. If you have an opportunity to lend a kind word, step out of the box and do it. It can be really fun and even more so if you let someone know something good without letting on whom you are.
Remember, I challenged you at the beginning of 2010 to try doing it once a month verbally or by a card, letter or e-mail. We all get busy way too often to stop and slow down for a moment to appreciate the little things. One day, time will fly by so fast that we’ll wish we had taken that time only to find out that it’s too late.
It is hard to believe that April has arrived and before long it will be May. Everyone knows that once May arrives, it’s a fast ride through the end of the school year. If you know a senior in high school, tell them congratulations for making in through and to enjoy the rest of their ride. School will be over for them in the blink of an eye and then they’ll just be old like the rest of us.
Bernadette Lauritzen is the Assets Coordinator for Los Alamos. Assets In Action is sponsored by the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board and the Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce. They invite the community to see Dr. Peter Benson at 6:30 p.m. May 11 at UNM-LA. To learn more, go to www.AssetsInAction.info.