If we’re being honest, the real real reason I go to work and church is to spend time with my youth.* They may not be my own babies and, of course, there are times when they get on my nerves (which I’m sure is a mutual sentiment for them some days, too). Nevertheless, my honest belief is that my life’s purpose is being carried out when I’m around teens and young adults. You may ask why, but in my eyes, it’s simple: I wish that as a teenager someone would have spent more time talking to me about things that I cared about.
I know many youth who are currently wishing someone would talk to them about the things that actually matter to them. I had a very interesting conversation with a group of youth today around everything from suicide to slavery to the most recent series of Chicago shootings. Many of them had close relatives who were victims of homicides or murder within the past two weeks. Although a few of them did not understand why other people commit suicide, I made sure to give them the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and they names of licensed staff members that they could talk to if they or their friends were struggling with suicidal thoughts, depression, or grief.**
Then, we ended up playing a game of Uno with a Twist. My youth at church know that I like to infuse games in our lessons, too. Its probably because I’m still young at heart. I can remember having family game nights with my mom are a close family friend when I was younger. That bonding time with genuine adults was fun, but it stopped in my teenage years–which is unfortunate since those are some of most formative years of our lives.
To fulfill my life’s purpose, I want to continually expose our youth to new experiences and new opportunities that will amplify the small voice in their head that tells them to #SlayTheDream; that they are destined for leadership, greatness, and service to their community. Honestly, I have yet to completely determine how to do that. However, I do know the first step is by showing them that someone cares about their well-being and is concerned with the things that concern them.
What is your life’s purpose? Do we share the same passion for youth development, advocacy, and organizing? Or do you think I am insane? Leave your honest comments in the box below! Remember to connect with me via social media, too!
Feeling blessed and favored…
–Sincerely, Tyra 🖤
*Outside of my responsibility to provide and bring peace to My Joy. Whereas my daughter is my first purpose, youth work is definitely my second purpose in life.*
**Let be clear: I am not a licensed staff member and do not sugar coat my abilities when it comes to talking about these topics. This was an unplanned conversation in which some of my young people gave me discussion questions that they wanted to discuss. My follow-up will be to bring in the qualified staff members to introduce themselves to my youth, just in case they need additional services in the future. If you or a young person is having thoughts of committing suicide, please direct them to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. **
Instagram: @SincerelyTyra; https://instagram.com/p/Bnp7DixF9-Y/