Hey everybody, welcome to Catch the Message! How you doing, Deanna?
I'm doing great. Had presentations today as usual.
Nice. Yeah, you're very busy.
Every time we talk, I feel like I'm always telling you not just about work and presentations, but you and I, we do have lives outside of our very awesome jobs. We're parents, and we are significant others and we are just people in general. So yeah, we are busy, but that's a good thing. That's a good thing, what we're doing,
It's really good to be busy because when we're busy we're really truly empowering children and that's what this is all about. What I want to share today, Deanna, is a really cool story that has really changed my life because I use it all the time when I'm presenting to kids, and it's truly where I think is where I really got the idea of Catch the Message that I use in my presentations.
So this is really a story of courage too. I was at a school one day talking to fourth graders and I'll never forget. Again everyone, this whole podcast is about the courage of children, and adults and just courage in general to really be yourself and to be willing to step outside that comfort zone and share things that might be uncomfortable. But I was presenting to this fourth grade group and it was just a great day. I remember as they were leaving that they were walking out high-fiving me like they always do and I had said a very important thing during the presentation that I didn't really know really the significance of it other than that it came to me and I said it.
That was this. I told them to not be voiceless. I said, "Don't be voiceless, don't be like me for 11 years." I had just shared my story and I had told them that I had been really silent for 11 years. I basically said, "If you don't get anything I say today, get this. Don't be voiceless, don't be like me." As they were walking out, this fourth grader walked right up to me and said, "Thank you for coming to our school." Extremely polite and I get that a lot. But then he said, "Victor, I promise." I said, "What do you mean you promise?"
No one had ever said that to me before and I was like, "What are you talking about?" At first I was like, "Okay, what are you promising?" Again, I had said, "Don't be voiceless, don't be like me." He looked at me and he said, "Victor, I will never be like you." I thought that was amazing because I mean, it is, right. When I tell kids this, kids start laughing because they're like, who would say that to somebody? It's true. You don't say that to somebody. I'll never be like you. But if you put it all in context, I'll never be like you, Victor, for those 11 years. If anyone ever hurts me, no matter what it is, I am not going to stay silent. I am going to have the courage and go tell somebody.
That, to me, not only was it courageous for him to come up and tell me that, and to be comfortable enough to tell me that. That really is the message. I didn't have anyone. We didn't have anyone come to our schools when we were kids to talk about safe touch, unsafe touch, sexual abuse. So we never got that permission to be able to talk about things that were making us feel uncomfortable.
So I look at it this way. That fourth grader, he caught the message and he knew from that moment on that it resonated with him and he didn't want to be like me for 11 years. I thought that was so amazing. At first I was like, What do you mean?" And then I just said, "Hey, I get it." So now I tell all fourth grade
I think it's awesome. Obviously I use the be seen in her curriculum in our work, literally use your curriculum. But there are little things that I may say differently, that you may say differently, but I've definitely stolen that from you a hundred percent. I tell kids, "Please don't be like me when I kept an unsafe secret. Do not think that your voice is not powerful. Please don't think that you are undeserving or unworthy of receiving help."
So was I. I just didn't realize it until I was 20. I ask them, especially middle school students, and I see it, I see a lot of middle school kids. I tell them, "Don't be like me for all those years. I deserved that help and so do you but I don't want you to wait until you were 20 like I did. If you do wait, it's never too late to tell. But the sooner we tell, the better. The sooner we can relieve ourself of that burden."
So funny Victor, when I first joined you, I'm trying to remember your shirts. When I first joined you, they were like the shirts we have now. If you know what I'm talking about, we have our iconic baseball tees with our logo, they're white. But before I joined Victor, he had a different shirt and it was blue and it had some dark blue on it. It said I promise on it and I remember asking you, "Well, what's the promise, Victor?" You explained to me that you were inspired so much to say that to the students by that one student that came up to you, but you also put it on your shirt for a period of time. Which I just-
Think it the coolest thing.
Yeah. It really empowered me because I just thought that he got it on a level that maybe a lot of kids didn't. I love that he put two and two together and just said, "Hey, I'll never be like you." The way he said it was, at first I was like, "What?" I kind of got sad because I'm like, "What do you mean you don't want to be like me? I don't really want you to be like me. I want you to be like you." But I just thought that was really cool.
So that's the message for today. Something that I was thinking about along the lines of all these podcasts, it's just I love to create little art pieces of work, artwork and things like that. I always end the day with no matter how difficult a day may be, if it's a Monday and we're trying to get to a school and something happens, you can always find the victories of the day. So what I do as I'm trying to click over here, what I do is I write down three wins for the day every night before I go to bed.
The real important thing here is that you can continue to focus on the rain. It rains, but you can also know that the sun is there and you can always focus on what went right that day. I'm not saying ignore the rain or the things that didn't go well, but you want to look at it and say, you know what? I don't have to be defined by the rain. I can be defined by the sun and that's what I decide to do. So at the end of the day, you can always find the victories.
Absolutely. I think there's a lot of good things that have to do with from darkness to light, from cold to warmth. I think it's very, very powerful. I do.
I love it. All right. With that being said, we want to thank you for joining us today and remember, Catch the Message! We will see you next time. Thank you.