One St. Helena: You Are Not Entitled _lowres

Jasper Knighten

There is a secret weapon in thinking big.

Thinking big and not surrendering to the temptation of mediocrity is the door to life’s greatest rewards and treasures. The most legendary people to walk the face of this Earth stared the giants of small thinking in the face and pushed toward making their dreams a reality.

As the school year begins, it is time for everyone to harness the power of thinking big. In this fast-paced, global economy we live in, playing it small only produce small returns and a life of disappointment and unrealized potential. Many of us as adults may be able to relate to the dilemma of playing it small. We have too often neglected or altogether abandoned what we feel in our hearts and see in our minds because of the negative vibes and cynical criticism of our dreams from others.

The dawn of a new day is here. We are molding a generation right before our eyes. If we blink one too many times, the opportunity to forge their minds and build their confidence will have passed. The greatest opportunity given to each of us in life is the opportunity to give. At the beginning of every school year, that great opportunity presents itself again. Many may see it as a challenge, while others see it as an opportunity.

If you see it as an opportunity, I am aiming for you. Whether you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or neighbor, the responsibility to encourage our youth to go after their dreams lies solely on your shoulders. Each one of us has a part to play in molding the young people God has placed in our lives. Will you carry your weight? Will you answer the call to plant seeds of self-worth and purpose in your young person’s life?

We should see the young people in our lives as the greatest project we will ever work on. It is greater than the million-dollar project at work; it is greater than trying to organize a family reunion. Both of those instances are huge undertakings, but they will never have the impact and produce the results a motivated and determined youth can produce. When you deposit confidence and support in your youth, you are changing generations.

I often wondered growing up why so often people would refer to the graveyard as the greatest collection of talent and unrealized potential. Now that I have been blessed to be here for a few years and to observe life, I believe that statement to be true. The only reason is because I feel in my heart many of those people never had a seed depositor in their lives. As a result, they accepted what they saw while what they saw is not what they felt. They knew deep down life was a journey to be created by them instead of life creating the journey for them.

No matter our position, age, class, gender or religious affiliation, we owe our young people our time and support. They need us. We need them. We need each other. We have a wonderful community. The people here are the most resilient people on the face of this Earth.

We must learn to see the good in ourselves. We must learn to instill seeds of goodness in our young people. The time is over for gossiping and living beneath our purposes. We are better than that. Our DNA is special. No one in this community is average. No child in our school system is average.

But how will they know that? How will our neighbors, cousins and friends know they are special? They will know only if you tell them. It is our job collectively to change the atmosphere in our community. We must create a new path. The best way to do this is through our young people.

If you are up for this great opportunity, make a pledge to be a difference maker. Take one of our great youth under your wings and mentor them. Give them love, support and direction. It will be the greatest seed you sow.

Let’s do this, St. Helena.

Contact Jasper Knighten at jasperknighten@yahoo.com.