Children are the future and we must help them shine. On Friday, I had the opportunity to speak to an awesome group of middle schoolers at their after-school program about staying true to themselves, regardless of the judgment they might receive. My goal was to ensure that these kids never give up on something they love just because their peers might criticize them or make fun of them for liking something “less cool”, which happens ALL the time (and even happened to me)! I’m a firm believer in being authentic and helping others to be the truest versions of themselves, so this day was seriously so special to me.
I talked about how when I was younger, I LOVED Hello Kitty, but girls I wanted to be friends with made fun of me for it, so I stopped liking it to fit in. I forced myself to stop liking something that I loved so people would like me. I don’t want these kids to do that. I want them to let their true selves shine and to keep doing the things they love, and not worry about what any mean kids might say about it.
I talked about the beauty of trying new things and how you never know if you’ll love an activity before you try it. Their program director is always trying to implement new programs, but the kids aren’t always open to trying new things. My hopes are that as they go on to high school, that they will be open to checking out clubs, teams, and other opportunities that they may have felt nervous to before. I want these kids to fully SHINE and to be fearlessly and fully themselves. Our culture is too focused on fitting in, when our individuality is what makes the world a beautiful place.
I want to give a special thank you to CCM for having me at your end-of-the-year show. You kids are the future! I’m always so grateful to be able to speak to kids and help shape their future in a positive way. Changing the world, one step at a time!