I wrote Chasing A Difference to bring awareness to making a difference in the lives of our children through supporting strong healthy minds in every child. I believe with all my heart that this is our key to building strong communities in the future.
It all started about two and a half years ago with six little words said to me by my 4-year-old daughter. These six words changed the course of my life forever. They allowed me to have a glimpse at life through the eyes of a child. Ultimately, these six words, innocently spoken by my daughter, opened my eyes to the importance of making a difference in our communities today. They unlocked a door to my heart that was waiting to be opened for years. Undoubtedly - these six words, a simple question, started a chain of thoughts and inspiration like nothing I have ever encountered in my entire life.
I believe in a future where the vast majority of people give back to their communities, strengthening the neighborhoods they work and live in. I believe this is done by giving everything we have to our children. Our future starts with the very thoughts and actions of our children. They will, one day, be the adults making all the decisions and orchestrating all the change needed to continue making a difference in the lives of others. I also believe that in order to strengthen our communities we must first give our entire focus on influencing the lives of our children today. They are the backbone of our communities and our entire future.
A Child's Environment
Children are born into an environment that they essentially have very little control over. Most of one’s ability to create the life they want and contribute to society is largely determined by the type of environment that individual was in when they were a child. If you had a wonderful upbringing with loving and nurturing parents, a great school system and community, then you are probably doing well right now and able to contribute to society in a positive manner. You could say that your parents made a difference in your life. You could also say a certain teacher or your community made a difference in your life. What you could not say though, for the most part, is that when you were a child, you made a difference in your own life. This is because most children simply do not have the ability to change their situation by removing themselves from a difficult, non-supportive, environment. Often one that is not conducive to growth and preparation for life as an adult. It is just not possible for them in most instances.
What Are We Chasing?
I often feel like all we do as a society, or country if you will, is chase after things we think will make us richer, or smarter, or better looking. For some of us, we chase after fame and fortune, or a significant other we believe our friends and family will admire. We chase after material items we think will make us feel better but eventually they become yesterday’s news and off we go to find the next emotional fix that we think will fulfill our desire to be happy. We chase after wealth, love and happiness believing that if we have all three we have made it. Nothing can get in our way, as we hit the ultimate tri-fecta in life.
What if how we define wealth, love and happiness is wrong?
What if how we define our life is actually making us unhappy, and some, even miserable?
Are we chasing after the wrong things in life?
What would happen if we started chasing after a difference in the lives of all children rather than chasing after material items in our own lives?
How different would our future be if this were our focus?
The Time Is Now
We live during an era of authority, in one of the greatest, most powerful countries on this planet, yet for some reason, as a country, we seem to fix everyone’s problems except our own. We are often so busy living our twenty-first century lifestyle, that we vaguely listen to the issues at hand, never once opening our eyes and really seeing the problems. Is it because we are afraid of what we are really going to see? Maybe it is because we are secretly hoping the problems will disappear if we ignore them long enough. Maybe then, they really don’t exist.
This book is not designed to have all the answers. It is designed to inspire ideas that can be implemented within our communities throughout the county. It has taken some specific core areas to focus on and created a blue print to build upon. It was written as the beginning of a movement. A movement greater and bigger than all of us individually. At the center of this movement, our most precious resource, our children. We cannot neglect them anymore and we owe it to them to think, implement and create change in our most precious asset, our Country.
As a whole, we have started to take America for granted. The very soil we walk on everyday is fertilized with the blood, sweat and tears of those that fought before us to bring their vision of America to life and then enlist future generations to protect that vision at all costs. It is time we stop looking down at our phones so much and start looking at what is right in front of us. The future of America depends on it. We all have a vision of what we want this country to be like. We all have a vision of the type of communities we want our children to grow up in and live in when they have families of their own. I don’t have all the answers as I said before, but I can promise you this...TOGETHER we have many of the answers. I also promise you that if we come together we will figure this out and we will be unstoppable. Government will not make change and strengthen our communities, we the people will and we the people will be the ones that take this vision and make it a reality.
Together we can do this.