You Be the Change — an Open Letter to Teenagers by Steve Russo

You did it! Your voice was heard in a huge way through the #Enough National School Walkouts and March For Our Lives rally in DC and other cities including NYC, Boston, Chicago and LA. Thousands of you protested against gun violence in schools and honored those killed by a lone gunman at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on Valentine’s Day.

Now it’s time for you to take it to the next level and get to the root of the school violence. The culture on your campus of meanness, bullying (physical, emotional & cyber), anger, violence and disconnection needs to change. The transformation starts with you. Don’t wait on politicians and other adults to try to change things. You have the power to be the change now.

There’s timeless wisdom that’s found in something called the “Golden Rule.” It’s simple but powerful: “treat others the way you want to be treated.” Imagine the huge difference in schools — and in our world — this could make if we’d all just practice it.

Be a contagious example of this to others at school, home and in your community. With the “Golden Rule” as a foundation, there are additional practical things you and your friends can do to change the culture of your school.

Be aware of lonely people on campus who are falling through the ‘cracks’ socially. Be kind and considerate to the outcasts; kids that may be different then you. Outward violence often begins with inner loneliness. Reach out. Let them know they matter and that you care.

Help identify and find treatment for mental illness. Do the same for those with serious anger problems that need to get it under control. Angry people hurt others. Violence begins with disconnection.

Look for those who seem stressed out and overwhelmed by school, family issues or natural disasters. You don’t have to say much. Listen, be empathetic and offer support.

Kate called our radio show to tell us how she beat bullying. Her advice was simple: “Talk to people outside of school. I like to think of it as wearing armor. And if you don’t have people around you who are loving you and telling you good things, your armor is going to be weak and everything can penetrate it. But if you’re surrounding yourself in love, that armor becomes 10 times harder.”

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Source: Christian Post