My Trip to the Gulf Coast Region

About four weeks ago I spoke at a high school in Irvington, Alabama.  The school is in the Gulf Coast region and it suffered quite a bit of damage.  At the beginning of the presentation I asked the students whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed to raise their hands.  All 562 students raised their hands.  I was speechless.  Someone hollered out, "We're staying in a tent."  A lot of students responded, "So are we." 

I stood there quietly for about 15-20 seconds thinking to myself. When I finally spoke I told the students that was I there to talk to them about choices and to inspire them, but instead they had inspired me.

When they were walking into the auditorium no one would have ever guessed that there was anything wrong.  They were just as lively as any other bunch of teenagers.  We can all learn a thing or two about resiliency and overcoming adversity from our youth.

After the program one young guy came up to me and said, "Mr. Duncan you made me feel good today.  I wish I could make my mom feel good.  She hasn't smiled since Katrina.  What should I say to her, Mr. Duncan?"

"Tell her that you're sorry Katrina destroyed the house, but it didn't destroy us. Then tell her that you love her." He said that he wasn't sure if it would work but he would try.  I gave him my email address and told him to let me know what happens.

He emailed me two weeks later. The email said " Mr. Duncan do you remember me from Alma Bryant?  I did what you said. It really worked.  Thanks for everything."  That was one of the best emails I've ever gotten.  Kids... ya gotta luv 'em!

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Al "The Inspiration" Duncan  ::   The Millennial Mentor  :: Soft Skills Expert
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