My heart breaks for the lives of people that are treated unfair. Everyone deserves a chance. Everyone has struggles and battles. Everyone has a story and for a brief moment, I want you to hear a quick story from my life.
Many people see the work I do now and celebrate what has transpired over the course of my life, but check this out… If my coaches in high school/college would have done a background check on my teenage years, they would have discovered I had 3 MIP’s, sold weed, smoked weed, skipped school, had poor grades at some point (1.2 gpa) and got drunk; they would not have wanted me to a part of their program.
It was very easy to find faults in my character, to display my weaknesses, and hold me to the standard of my choices. However, my coaches were able to see that I was just a hurting, lost, and broken teen being influenced by my surroundings, and making decisions based off of my broken emotions. My coaches saw that I was a teen in need of guidance, love, support, and encouragement.
I needed someone to believe in me!
If I was always pushed down, punished and given up on for the wrongs I committed and the poor choices I made, then I would not been able to have the opportunity to learn, grow, overcome my mistakes, earn a high school degree, two college degrees, soon to be master’s degree, become an All – American basketball player, get married and eventually become a pastor.
I share this because when tragedy strikes, people are quick to point out the wrong someone has done, as a means to justify that an individual deserves poor treatment. Before you go and label someone a thug, gangster, low-life and a nobody, first learn their story and understand why they are making/made poor decisions.
Here is what you can do:
You have to believe you can make a difference. Change starts with you stepping up to do your part in society, in your household, and in your community. There are people out there that need to be heard, teenagers that need someone to listen to them, and love them. Will you be that person?
I should have been another statistic–lost to the system. I should be dead or in prison. I shouldn’t be where I am today. But God!
P.S. Be the change the world needs to see and as you do this; one day you will look up and realize, you influenced a lost teen to turn their life around to be a difference maker in this world.
Pastor J. Scott Samarco
*Orginally posted on Smiley Speaks. *