According to UrbanDictionary.com, the term “urban youth” refers to young black people living in the city. I don’t know if that’s correct or not, but it does have relevance to what I am about to talk about.
Earlier today, I saw an article on FaceBook, posted by the American Psychological Association (APA) regarding urban youth and the problems they face. What disturbed me was the comment by an obviously disengaged viewer. I have included a snapshot of the comment below.
School-Based Mindfulness Program May Help Urban Children Deal With Negative Stress, which is linked to PsychNews.org.
As you can see, I did not black out my name with my response to this person. I am still shocked by such disregard for the problems that face people today. Those with no problems seem to have no heart or mind for hearing about the unpleasantness of growing up without money and resources.
What this male does not understand is the definition of pathetic. What is pathetic is the attitude of people sharing his belief that education should not include teaching people how to cope with desperate situations, how to have hope in the midst of trouble, and how to remain focused on preparing a better future for yourself.
There are many mindfulness curriculums already in effect in many inner city schools.
Goldie Hawn has had success with her curriculum on mindfulness, which is sold through Scholastic. You can read more about her program, MindUp, and the many great reviews at the Hawn Foundation.
Mind Up provides this extremely affordable curriculum in three age groups, covering ages 3 to 14. You can find them at http://store.scholastic.com.
It is never too late to learn to be mindful, to learn to still the mind and focus on this moment, which is all we truly have for certain.
Become mindful of your power to create a better future.
You can also purchase tools for using at home. If you know a student who would benefit from the art of mindfulness, perhaps consider becoming a mentor and teaching this unique yet simple approach to a small group.
Meanwhile, let us continue to expand the awareness of those people who are out of touch with the realities and suffering of young people all over the world.
This is what you shall do: Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown, or to any man or number of men—go freely with powerful uneducated persons, and with the young, and with the mothers of families—
re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book, and dismiss whatever insults your own soul;
and your very flesh shall be a great poem, and have the richest fluency, not only in its words, but in the silent lines of its lips and face, and between the lashes of your eyes, and in every motion and joint of your body.”
–from Preface to “Leaves of Grass” (1855)
This quote from Walt Whitman is the best advice for living that I’ve ever read. It is also a great inspiration to know the he, just like me and many of you, took issue with some of the erroneous constructs we were taught in church. They truly insulted my soul with their villainous deeds in the names of God. Once I dismissed that which insulted my soul, life became so much sweeter. It was as if a huge burden was lifted from my shoulders.