Really, who does? That’s a question far too many of our young people are asking themselves. And their peers. And if you are fortunate enough as an adult to have a really good relationship with them, they may confide in you with these questions. It seems that in our United States culture today, young people feel overlooked, ignored, and unvalued.
Am I SURE about that? Yep, I’m sure. In their most recent aggregate sample of US students, Search Institute® reports that only 25% of students surveyed reported being valued by their community. Only 32% indicated they are given useful roles in their community. I’m pretty sure that all contributes to the question “Who cares?”
The reason I LOVE doing the work we do at Bolster Collaborative, however is NOT in this “half empty” view of the world. It’s in the “over half full” view that acknowledges that principled, caring people everywhere DO CARE and are taking intentional actions daily to reflect that. We have the good fortune to meet and work with people like that every day.
And recently, I saw a powerful reminder of how simple the acts can be that transform the sense of “Who cares?” to one of “They care!” That reminder came in the form of YouTube video that I’ve posted to Facebook, and which you can view by following this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OlyVF84YVso . If you haven’t yet viewed the video, do yourself a favor and take 3 minutes to check it out. It tells the story of a senior citizen who undertook an unusual campaign. As students walked to the nearby high school every day, she simply waved to them! She noticed. She cared. She didn’t discriminate and wave just to some students. And she did it intentionally, repeatedly, deliberately.
That’s what Asset Champions do. They take deliberate action over and over and over again to clearly demonstrate that they are THERE and that they CARE. It’s not really rocket science. Certainly the emphasis on proven programs and effective practice has a place . . . but let’s not forget about the simple act of letting our young know that we care.
Now let’s all get out there an be noticed!