Lindsey Hayob is one of six staffers inducted into the LYS Five Year Club earlier this evening. Last week, after the tragic shootings that shook our communities and country, Lindsey opened her heart on Facebook and exposed her feelings about how we can all create a more tolerant and inclusive environment to make sure that "No Man is an Island."
Next week, I'll be in Baton Rouge helping with a program that I really admire. I'll be witnessing hundreds of high school students from all kinds of backgrounds, cities, races, and families genuinely work together, laugh together, and encourage each other.
I feel and share every sentiment with those mourning the loss of #AltonSterling and a broken America, and I'm not choosing to be ignorant or overlook that. However, instead of contributing another confused, aggressive, and reactive post about it, I thought I could tell whoever decides to read this in my little Facebook world about some incredible, proactive, world-changing business that IS going on - even in the same city as tragedy.
LYS runs off of the motto that "No Man is an Island", and we cultivate an environment where every one feels like a someone - someone that matters. There is no race, age, culture, interest, or personality that is more or less included, valued, or celebrated than another (and we do a lot of celebrating). In a matter of 6 days, kids who were total strangers on the first day and were scared to speak to each other have a hard time leaving as tears stream down their faces and they wrap their arms around their new family of peers.
Before you write this off as irrelevant, it's not. LYS isn't special because they're kids.. It's not special because it's a typical, cool summer camp (it's the farthest thing from).. It's special because they're living in an environment where they know that they matter, the people around them matter, and the futures of all of them matter.
I think if we created an environment in each of our own little worlds, where "No Man is an Island" and people know that they, and the people around them, matter, we'd have a lot more celebrating than complaining and questioning going on.
Tragedy would still exist. Evil would still sting. And some things would never be understood on this side of Heaven, but we would all have a lot more joy on our shoulders than worry.
And contrary to most sayings, this one is easier and better done than just said.
There's still good going on in the world, people. Be a part of it, or sit there and watch that that's not.
Thanks for reading my book.
Lindsey out ✌🏼️
Lindsey, thank you for sharing your heart and for giving yourself to Louisiana Youth Seminar and the youth of Louisiana over the last five years.