A Teachable Moment (Talk with your Teens)

(Pro 22:1)  A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches; and loving favor rather than silver or gold. (Pro 22:6)  Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

This week’s current events involving the verdict of the George Zimmerman trial provides parents throughout the country with what could be a life changing moment for their children. This is an excellent time for them to talk about what was called back in the day “Stranger Danger”. It also provides them with the opportunity for them to allow their children to speak up and air their concerns and opinions not only about the trial but how they view life in general. What are their concerns? What are their hopes? What are their fears? Do they feel justice was served?

When it comes to our youth profiling actually transcends color if young people dress or act a certain way they are perceived by some to be trouble makers. When my children were growing up they were made fun of because of how they dressed. I never wanted them to always dress according to the latest fashions or trends especially my one and only son. While they were teased in school in some regards I believe it may have kept them to some degree from being stereotyped when it came to law enforcement. When my son grew older he was racially profiled on more than one occasion. As an African American dad I was always concerned with my son being falsely accused of something convicted and sent to jail. One reason is because I grew up in fear of false arrest and imprisonment. This sadly is still the reality for many African Americans males as well as Hispanic males also.

Hindsight is always 20/20 however as I look at the whole Trayvon Martin case there are things that could have been done that might have saved his life. He could have used his cell phone to call the police himself when he noticed he was being followed. He could have also called his dad or some adult whose number he had a coach whatever. I would recommend any minority parent that moves into a gated community that is predominantly white to get involved. Become part of the neighborhood watch. I truly believe that George Zimmerman has some latent mental issues that being said if Trayvon’s dad had gotten involved if George Zimmerman had been introduced to Trayvon because of his dad’s involvement with the neighborhood watch then maybe things would have been different. As a dad who suffered from Fibromyalgia during the latter years of my children’s High School years I was involved. I was the den dad and transported not only my children but other’s children as well. The police who worked the sporting events knew me and I made sure of that.

I would suggest that parents who live near police stations or sub stations no matter what race you are. Take your children over to the police station in your area introduce yourself let them meet your children. Some of you may be single parents, separated, or divorced for the sake of your children work together and get involved. As often as you can go to PTA meetings get involved with your neighborhood watch. See if some of your relatives whose children may be grown and gone if they can get involved. Our society has become too fragmented neighbors don’t know neighbors any more.  This must change in order to prevent such a tragedy as the senseless killing of a 17 year, we must do all we can to make sure that it’s never repeated. I can remember as a child I was a good ways away from my house. I did not think anyone knew me so I decided to cut up. A lady opened up her window and said I know who you are; you’re Mrs. Webb’s son I’m going to call your mother. When I got home I got it, my mom said Mrs. whatever her name was called me and told me that you were acting up in front of her house. I told her the next time she sees you act up to give you a whopping and when you get home you’ve got another one coming. Needless to say that never happened again I tried always to be on my best behavior no matter where I was.

Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived our scripture text is taken from a book that he is credited with writing. I would encourage parents everywhere to take some time and go through the book of Proverbs with your children. God’s word is full of promises and guarantees one thing that we can glean from Proverbs 22:6 is that with good training comes long life. I hope that Trayvon Martin knew the lord in the pardon of his sins because despite such an awful tragic event he is now present with the lord if he did. Parents teach your children to pray and to establish a personal relationship with Jesus. There is so much evil in this world and satan is out to kill and destroy that’s what he does. George Zimmerman is wrong it was not God’s will that Trayvon Martin was killed the whole situation was avoidable.  To everyone who reads this blog enough is enough it is time for all Christians to come together. We are not going to take our mess to heaven in fact God lets us know that we are not his if we don’t truly love one another. Let us all come together and do all we can to make sure that a tragedy such as this never happens again. Parents, teachers, preachers, uncles, aunts let’s talk with our teens and as adults let’s get involved George Zimmerman was the adult in this situation and he failed. Just as sure as he called the police he could have also called a neighbor then there would have been more than just his story. As adults of all races, creeds, and colors we must hold ourselves accountable this must never happen again Be Encouraged and Blessed Minister Mike.

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