Today the news was pelted with another story about a shooting at a high school.  As I listened to the news I was driving between the grocery store and home.  I noticed that I drove past 4 schools, 1 high school, 1 middle school and 2 elementary schools.  I imagined all of the children nestled in their classrooms.  Earlier in the day parents rushed through their Monday routine to get their week off to a great start.

As the parents said good-bye to their children I am sure they all envisioned the safety of classrooms, classmates and faculty.  How could a world like this be shattered with senseless violence?  I cannot imagine the agony of everyone involved in such a senseless act. 

Our future is swaying in the balance right now.  Our children deserve a childhood filled with love and laughter.  Safety should not be a preoccupation for their active minds.  We have to be a better society.  Have electronics separated us from our children?  Do you know what your kids are thinking?  feeling?  Who are their friends?  If they are hurting inside, would you know?  Would you know what to do?

I want to strongly encourage all of us to reach out to ALL of the young people around us.  They need us.  Children need role models.  Children need love.  Children need the safety to blossom and grow.  Please take a moment and think about the young minds you encounter.  We can all make a difference…reach out.

Children are a blessing from God.  They are our future.  We can do this.


Tears of Joy

My gratitude has evolved in to tears lately.  I wonder how many other people may be taking the same journey with me this year?

You see, my youngest graduates high school next month and I officially join the club affectionately called the “empty nesters.”  I have found myself reflecting quite a bit lately and the tears have flowed freely.  I look back on major events and not so major events in the lives of my kids and the memories warm my heart. 

You know the ones, the first day of school, the bout of chicken pox over Christmas break, beautiful crayon artwork for the refrigerator and so much more.  As the cliché says; time flies. 

It certainly has flown. 

I have traded the worries of childhood boo-boos for the worries of young adults.  What will the future bring for them as adults?  Have I planted enough seeds of faith in them to sustain them for the challenges ahead?  Isn’t this the mantra of parenthood? 

As we make final plans for graduation I will continue to embrace the memories and remain hopeful in their future.  If you look in the eyes of a graduate you can see the spirit that has made our country great.  The spirit that drives innovation.  The spirit to succeed, make a change and develop a new frontier.

Congratulations to the Class of 2010!

Graduating with Gratitude.

As the school year winds down, I think about all of the educators who are getting ready for summer vacation.  They have an awesome responsibility; raising our next group of leaders, doctors, astronauts and more. 

What kind of school year did you have?  Who do you remember from your school days?  Who made an impact on you?

Educators have a tremendous calling.  When a major event comes to an end it is not uncommon to express gratitude.  Do we do this at the end of the school year?  Would it be a nice surprise to show appreciation during a different time of year?  How about marking a date on the calendar this summer and sending a nice note to a deserving teacher at this time?  This doesn’t take a lot of time but it could make a great impact on the person receiving it. 

What a terrific gift.  If it is an actual gift that you would like to give as gratitude you could consider a couple of these:

Gift certificate to a bookstore

Gift card for a car wash

A Novel for summer reading

Baked goods made with care

Creativity is your only limitation.  You will also reap the benefit of opening up your mind and heart to the needs of others.  Take a moment – thank an educator. 

Congratulations graduates – a wonderful life awaits your contribution.