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Assets in Action: Sometimes we have to relinquish the control

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

I was so proud last weekend of the youth of our nation standing up to let their voices be heard, it was indeed heard by the entire world.

We need to make that a possibility for every youth. As adults, we need to teach children how and when to speak up so, to have the impact they want or the outcome they desire.

As adults, we may get too anxious to make our point or feel like the place and time just never arrives. There is a time and a place, sometimes we just have to relinquish the control and take the ride.

When does this wisdom come? I’m not sure it is the same for everyone. Some are just born or happen to be in the right place, at the right time. Some have to be forged if you will, pushed and pulled, even if they don’t understand why, especially when things are so easy. Are you willing to put in the work?

You see, as you read this column, I am on the final eve of my 49th year. I turn 50 and while that is child’s play in this town, it is a pretty big number. My brother Nick likes to say, it is the 21st anniversary of our 29th birthday.

I remember, like it was yesterday, my friends joining together to support whatever one was turning the ripe, old age of 21. It was a tremendous deal to be allowed to go in an establishment that required you to be 21, just to enter the building. You didn’t have to buy a thing but had to be 21 and we loved to dance.

Jacquie, Buddy, Christopher, Gary and so many others arrived at the place and went in first. I had to wait 15 minutes outside alone. I remember the, “bouncer,” apologizing because he couldn’t let me in before the clock struck midnight. It allowed me to soak in the moment, a new realm of responsibility.

We did the same when the next member of our fold, Marques had the rite of passage just two days after mine. We went to a restaurant at Walt Disney World, called the Laughing Kookaburra. I think it is still there today. We did it because we were friends and wanted to help someone make a memory.

I did it one final time, many years later when a friend Beth turned 21. This time, I was a morning radio personality, that woke at 4 a.m. to head to work. It was probably the longest day of my life as we were literally out from midnight-12:15 a.m. Her husband, like mine, was out to sea and we made a memory.

I encourage you to help our youth find their voice, follow their hearts and celebrate rites of passage in healthy ways.
Bernadette Lauritzen is the Executive Director of Champions of Youth Ambitions (C’YA).