A guest post written by Sue Knight from La Mesa, California
A couple years ago I was reading about the Parade’s All-America Service Team where Miranda Cosgrove of iCarly TV fame and 15 other young American students were honored for their service to their schools and communities. Teens worked in various fields including education, health, economics, and environment.
Many of these teens had experienced an inspirational moment when young. One example was when one boy at the age of two was shopping with his mom for Christmas presents. His mom asked him to pick out a toy not for himself but for someone who was not getting any toys at Christmas that year. Another was inspired as a fifth-grader when he saw the litter and trash outside his school and knew he had to find a way to help. Later while in high school, he organized an environmental advocacy-education group to recycle tons of trash in his area.
This article reminded me of what author Mary Baker Eddy said in Science and Heath with Key to the Scriptures about youth. “Jesus loved little children because of their freedom from wrong and their receptiveness of right. While age is halting between two opinions or battling with false beliefs, youth makes easy and rapid strides towards Truth.” Each student found the support and help needed to make a major difference in their community – and some even beyond in other countries.
One of the ideas we can learn from these examples of youth and leadership is to value, love, and encourage each child. This, as the article brought out, can result in students taking unselfish and caring steps to improve their environment and the lives of not only their families but also their communities and world. These teens took their motivation seriously and made a difference to those around them with their selfless action and inclusion of their school, parents, teachers, and friends. The young people were just a few of the 15 million students who are active in service activities. More information can be found at generationOn.org to aid others in getting involved in community service projects. Let’s have each inspirational act be a springboard for new activity to improve our world.