May this message find you well. So it has been quite an interesting month thus far for those of us who live in the northeast….lots of changing weather. This got me to thinking about change, and one in particular that I believe will have a dramatic positive effect on our world. This modern-day parable says it best, so please, read on….

Ever since we are children, we are asked: Do you love daddy? Do you love auntie? Do you love your teacher?

Nobody asks: Do you love yourself?

Accordingly, we end up spending a good deal of our life and energy trying to please others.

But what about ourselves?

Jesuit Anthony DeMello has a fine story on this subject.

Mother and son are at a snack bar. After taking the mother’s order, the waitress turns to the boy: “And what will you be wanting?”

“A hotdog.”

“Nothing of the sort,” says the mother. “He wants a steak and salad.”

Ignoring the comment, the waitress asks the boy: “Do you want that with mustard or ketchup?”

“Both,” answers the boy.

And then he turns to the mother in surprise: “Mom! SHE THINKS THAT I’M FOR REAL!”

All too often in our society we treat young folks as if what they have to say has little or no value, or that they lack “real” identity; then miraculously, when they reach the age of 18 we expect them to be responsible adults, to have the ability to make well-reasoned decisions, and to conform to an entirely different set of norms.

How realistic is this?

Today I would like to request that everyone who reads this message commits to making the conscious choice of treating young people like they are “REAL”. Talk with them, engage them in meaningful discussions, and ask them provocative questions.

Are you willing to give it a go?

This I assert will create meaningful change in our world. Thank you for reading this and always…

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