COLUMN: 4 Simple Things That Must Be Taught To Our Black Youth
By Orrin C. Hudson
Founder, Be Someone Foundation
Nationwide (June 11, 2012) -- On Thursday, June 7, 2012, another family had the unfortunate experience of burying another young black male as a result of violence in Atlanta. The more disturbing factor is that the shooting took place in the parking lot of a church, just after a funeral had ended. Now, two more young black men are dead.
I'm fed up, and so should all of us be.
Over the past 12 years, I've been blessed to have mentored more than 25,000 young people through the game of chess. I teach life lessons through the meticulous moves required to proudly proclaim "checkmate." These lessons inspire and instill patience, concentration and dedication.
But I just realized how foolish it is of me to think the passion I have for training and developing kids is enough. The news of this continuous cycle of "black-on-black crime" compels me to take more action, and I encourage adults around the country to so the same.
Join me. Stand up and help our kids find better means of managing conflict resolution. It takes a village, right?
How can we do this together? Let's start here. Tell kids:
1) Think It Out, Don't Shoot It Out.
Young black kids must first understand they can make one bad decision or make one bad move in life and never recover from it... such as death. Teach kids that walking away from trouble is always an option to deflating tense situations.
2) When Bad Things Happen, Look Inside Yourself.
Kids need positive motivation. Encourage them to reflect on how they can make the best of a bad or impossible situation. Train them to be grateful for the good, bad and ugly of life. Tell them to take a step back and recognize that there is a conspiracy to help them win in life - every set back is a set up for a comeback. Every downfall does not equal a pitfall. Also, ensure kids that life's "red lights" could very well prevent them from heading in the wrong direction. It's their time to stop, reflect and think about their next move.
It's our - the adults' - responsibility to impart wisdom to our young. Inspire them with the love of Christ. Teach them that God's will for their lives is far better than anything they can vividly image. Remember, a key to success is getting up after a fall, while one of the biggest mistakes in life is giving up after a fall.
3) Education is Priority.
Parents play a pivotal role in ensuring education is priority within the household. We must find ways to create an exciting, fun educational atmosphere for our kids. All too often, parents pass along their parental responsibilities to teachers. I encourage you to teach our youth how to create fish, rather than how to catch fish. Stimulate innovation and creativity. Wherever we go, it's imperative to inspire kids to stay in school.
4) KASH is KING
One of the most important aspects of life is money. We all love it to some degree, and it's usually the root of the mishaps our youth face. Instead of teaching kids the misconceptions of cash, tell them the true value of KASH, which ultimately means: Knowledge, Attitude, Skills and Habits.
K - Knowledge is power, but kids must first apply it and use it.
A - Attitude is always everything - junk in, junk out; love, peace and power in, then love, peace and power out. We are what we think.
S - Skills can take kids further in life than not having any training at all.
H - Habits (good habits) can instill great character.
It's better to have KASH and not need it, than to need it and not have it. One more thing concerning money: The Bible teaches that it's always better to give than to receive. Kids need to understand the power of giving, and that only good things will come to them as a result of their giving - which can be time, gifts, or volunteerism.
This is not where it ends, but this is where it begins. And, these are the solutions our kids need for success. Let's join together as a united family and teach our youth the value of KASH and, more importantly, the value of life.
Orrin "Checkmate" Hudson is an international motivational speaker that speaks at churches, schools, community centers, and corporate training events. He is also the founder of the Be Someone Foundation in Atlanta. To invite him to energize your next event, visit www.BeSomeone.org or call (770) 465-6445.
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