When we see the damage caused by the Oklahoma Tornado, or any natural disaster, the impact made is obvious. It leaves us devastated for the lives lost and dreams forever changed. While we may be incredulous to the power of nature, what is truly difficult to comprehend and understand is how people recover when a single event can bring about such wide sweeping change to lives, families, and communities. The entire landscape is literally and figuratively altered.
The news is littered with stories of devastation. We move from crisis in our economy, to political scandal, acts of terrorism, natural disasters and any other number of conflicts that take place between people in countries throughout the world. In our movement from issue to issue, crisis to crisis, the reality is that these are actual people who are impacted. Lives are forever changed. What enables some people to begin again, to get back up with a renewed determination while other people simply give up?
Becoming immune to the news of the day may seem a way to step off the roller coaster of endless crises. However, our “acts of self-preservation can cause us to ignore all that is truly going on around us. Somehow, we never seem to really “know the neighbor next door. As we isolate from the news around us, it is increasingly easier to lose our sense of community.
As a son or daughter, brother or sister, mother or father, each of us is a part of a family that lives in a home. Homes collectively make up communities, which in turn form towns, cities, states, and countries. Together, 7 billion individuals live on this planet which we call “home.
So what will we make of this world, of our home? What are we handing to the next generation? As individuals, we cannot change everything, but will we do something?
Determination to do something
Deaf and blind from the age of nineteen months on, Helen Keller died at the age of 87, having become a college graduate, an author, and a renowned speaker. Her inspiring life spoke to an inner strength, determination, and resilience born from a difficult and challenging life. She is quoted as saying; “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.
For us at the Paul Anderson Youth Home (PAYH), our determination is to start with not only our own lives, but to reach out and impact the lives of the next generation, their families, and in doing so, change the world around us.
You are familiar with the statistic, 36,000 juveniles are arrested every week. With the average size family being made of up 4 people that means an enormous number of people are suffering each week. These are your neighbors, people within your community, who are losing hope.
Our role as an organization is to provide hope. We are not alone in this. Entire sections of any bookstore are dedicated to personal growth, self-help, or life coaching books. All these books contain a common message: you have the power to change. This is a fundamental idea in our world. Without this hope, we’d be paralyzed by despair.
Making an Impact
We know that just reading or hearing something will not change us. If information changed us, we would be the most changed generation in history. Real significant, lasting change requires something more. It requires breaking down the barriers that hold us back. Whether those barriers are a fear of failure, exhaustion, pride, not knowing how or where to start, or just being completely lost, if we expose and understand the obstacles, we can begin to overcome them.
What are the obstacles in your own home? What is holding you back from making an impact in the community around you? Are you determined to make an impact? Are you passionate for the next generation?
It has been said that “whoever wants this next generation the most, will get them. You may not be able to do everything, but you can do something. Join with us. Let’s win this next generation together!
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