It was recently brought to my attention that a group of kids invaded the home of an ex-NFL player, threw a party and invited some 300 plus friends. Throughout the evening they ransacked the place, took pictures of the events and posted them on social media.
To no one's surprise, the kids were caught. They had used the house owner's computer for the incriminating download, so it was easy for him to pinpoint the culprits.
To everyone's surprise, the owner realized that "foolishness is tied up with a heart of a boy (or girl)." In a great attempt to show mercy while still within his right to press charges, he offered the group of kids an alternative punishment outside of the legal system: to come assist them with any drug concerns they may have. Some of the parents of the 300 kids went on to threaten him for his efforts to show mercy and were actually offended that he would re-post the pictures of their children.
Now, forgive me if I have relayed this story with imperfect facts. But this sounds a little offbeat to me. When on God's green earth can you afford to question anyone who is extending mercy to your child? Especially when there is ample evidence stacked up against them for their crimes? Should we not be overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for the generous offer that also stands as a lesson to be learned?
"Judge not these your favs their behavior as that of thee entire generation of youth today." If we look hard enough and not so far, among us are some brilliant children that aspire for more. Children who are actively involved in making positive contributions to the image of them and their generation of upcoming leaders.
Sometime ago I introduced you to Troi Zee, a fascinating young person who is up-and-coming, on the verge of an astounding career.
We were pleasantly pleased to hear how magnificent she was doing when she appeared in a public service announcement televised on WPIX Channel 11 in New York City. Her message was on the importance of staying in school for "Doctor" Bob Lee's Make the Grade Foundation. See the video here.
She also appeared in radio PSAs for the foundation on back to school safety tips, which were aired on WBLS 107.5 and WLIB in New York. She was then invited to be the commencement speaker at the 2013 fifth grade graduating class of a Brooklyn public school, and then to be a guest speaker for the Write Girls sponsored event for Brooklyn children called "I Can Be What I Can See."
She shot another independent film this summer, Advantageous, for award-winning Sundance director Jennifer Phang, a film which addresses the future life of women and girls in the year 2041.
In early September, Troi attended the premiere of her film 1982 at the Toronto International Film Festival, where she received a standing ovation. Film critics described her as "very talented" (Shadow and Act), a "young dynamo," (IndieWire), a "wonderful newcomer" (Urban Film Review) and her performance was described as "brilliantly played" (Under the Beret). See a sneak peak here.
The fashion world also took note of Troi's style in Toronto. StyleBistro praised her hair and dress, referring to her red carpet appearance as "oh-so-cute" and "adorable" on their website with accompanying photos. See them here and here.
Also this month, Purpose Records released her first single, "Brooklyn Girl," along with a terrific music video showing her out and about with friends in Brooklyn. See the video here.
Finally, and most important to her, she has been placed in seventh grade math and science honors classes at her school.
Now, with a CV like this, what trouble do you see her getting in? Where would she find the time?
In the hope of not sounding judgmental, I dare to say, "May we continue to lead our children to a clear path of guided success, that will not only make us proud, but ignite greatness within them."
For the youth, all that adults can offer you is their own personal experiences, to help guide your decisions, but ultimately it is for each and every one of you to determine to keep your eye on the prize!