I asked each member of the my conversation class to speak about their favorite superhero. Most of them spoke of their mom and dad who sacrificed greatly for them to have an education and taught them values and to believe in them self. They are well loved.
As a result, almost every one of them wants to be of service and leave the world a better place by being the change they want to see. I shared several videos from my blog to give them specific examples of how one person can make a difference. From Erin Gruwell to the Navy Seal Commander they saw specific examples of how one person can change the world.
One woman whose father was her hero shared how he left for work at 6:00 AM and returned home at 10:00 PM and did this for six days a week to support their family by working two jobs. He stressed the importance of education to her and her brother as a way out of poverty. This woman stated that her own child just graduated with a Phd from Harvard University.
Another student who looks intimidating and is a boxer shared how he was the one who protected the kids who were being bullied growing up. I asked him why not just join in with the popular kids. He stated because his father was his hero and always taught him to protect the ones who were being picked on. He hopes to learn the dialect of the people in different areas of the country who were wrongly put in prison because they couldn’t speak either English or Spanish to defend themselves. He wants to learn their dialect and then teach them English or Spanish so they can have a voice and finally speak their truth to be set free. He wants to give a voice to the voiceless.
Another student wants to help the homeless and sits with them and engages in a dialogue. He then writes about it in his journal as he wants to be a writer one day.
The students from my class are heros everyday.
And I will always remember one particular Friday when several students were missing due to a terrible rain storm. Thus there was just a small group of us addressing the superhero question. Everyone in this small group shared that Jesus was their superhero and how the seed was planted by a family member. One girl whose father is a minister found her way out of depression with faith and spirituality. She stated that her English score improved dramatically because she is reading the Bible in English everyday. After she passed my class she introduced me to her father in the lobby.
Another student goes out on the weekends and helps the homeless and those suffering from addiction by spreading the message of Hope through faith and spirituality with her church. They have bake sales to the raise money for those in need.
I shared that faith and spirituality is an unobstructed path to Hope. As a crisis intervention and suicide prevention counselor I learned Hope is the major weapon against suicide. I shared that it was my grandmother who was my hero as she was pure love and planted the seed of faith and spirituality which saved my life. I didn’t have to tell them she was a Journal listed CS Practitioner. Interesting that if everyone had shown up that day we couldn’t of had this in depth talk as we were all on the same page with our love for God and His positive impact on our lives.
But there was one individual the following day who was struggling and picked his father as his hero. His father works in the United States and travels a lot for business. This student missed a lot of the classes. He wanted to share his father with the class but his English was not at the same level. The class said they would help him and encouraged him to share. He shared he had not seen his father in ten years and I later found out he is struggling. There was no mention of faith and spirituality.
So what are the two most important support systems to lean on? Family and God. Both of which are lacking in those struggling within the LGBT community. God was used against many of them with reparative therapy and some were literally told they were not wanted in their church. This destroyed so many lives and has driven others to not only hate them self but to utter destitution by being forced to leave home. Many of them ended up homeless on the streets at a young age. Suddenly the false landmarks seemed their only option.
Finally, there was nothing but support for marriage equality when the question came up in class with the ice breaker questions provided by the school.
Perhaps things are changing. Perhaps the support systems of God and Family will not have to be left behind by LGBT youth and love will get through as it did with my students.
But divine Love was always there even for LGBT youth. Some just believed the lie that they were “less than” or “unequal”.
Perhaps it will be your child who will be saved as they realize suicide is not their only option.
We learned from the article the other day by Richard Bergenheim: “There is a lesson in this. We can triumph over adversity or we can succumb to it.”
Truth, Wisdom, Love and Sincerity, to ALL Mankind.
And o’er earth’s troubled, angry sea
I see Christ walk,
And come to me, and tenderly,
(Mary Baker Eddy, Poems, p. 12)