I sat down and pulled out my lunch….peanut butter and jelly. I checked my emails…updated statuses….liked pics on instagram..all the regular things I do during my lunch break. As I was about to take another bite of my sandwich, I started to hear yelling filled with profanities. I surveyed my area to see where it was coming from and saw a group of teens.
“I told you man….one more time. Say it…one more time and its on.”
“No man, I’m not doing it. This is stupid.”
“You’re stupid…stupid ass.” His friends behind him laughed in unison. I looked at the other boy. He was by himself.
“Give me the answers….I told you, you are doing my homework…tell me to do it myself again….say it…”
I got up to break up the discussion. As I walked towards the teens, I noticed someone had beat me to it….another teenager.
“Stop….stop. Its not worth it. Just go….just go to class.”
The group of angry teenagers stormed off…especially when they saw me walking towards them. All that was left was the boy who was threatened and the teenager who broke up the fight. I called them over.
“Come here…I want to talk to you two.” The two teenagers stood up and walked up to me slowly.
“You’re not in trouble….do you know who Whitney Houston is?
The teens looked at each other. “No.”
“She sang a song called ‘The Greatest love of all.’ And one of the lines is….’i believe the children are our future….teach them well and let them lead the way..” I looked at them for confirmation.
“Oh…oh…yeah my mom sang that on karaoke once…yeah.”
“I wake up every day…and I read the news….and all I see is bad news. Crimes….violence….war….people hurting each other. And then I get depressed.”
The teens just stood there and stared. I continued.
“I get down on this world…I think there is no hope. But you know what keeps me doing what I do? This….this right here. Through all the trouble. ..all the problems in the world, I get glimpses of hope, leadership, bravery, and courage. Thank you for that.”
“I just didn’t want him to get beat up, teach.”
“Yes, to you, it see me small. But what about other kids who saw what you did? They saw you stand up for yourselves. They saw you be brave. And maybe, just maybe, it gave them a little bravery and courage too. They can do what you do.”
The teens smiled.
“Now get to class….or I will start singing that whole Whitney Houston song. And you know I suck at singing.” The teens walked away.
That’s my reason to believe. I believe in our children…our future. I look at my little kindergarten daughter and see the same hope. I see the same curiosity. I see the same sense of justice I feel. And I know, there are many other young people out there who have the same sense of justice.