by Kim Supermutt Goodman
Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers winning the NBA Finals and to LeBron James earning the Most Valuable Player for the Finals. While on the subject of Cleveland Basketball, here are some things to understand. LeBron James was born to a teenage mother; he was from a single parent home and lived in poverty during his childhood. During his childhood LeBron James met people who invested in him. Someone noticed his interest in basketball and helped him build on it. Someone saw the potential in him and encouraged him. If LeBron James had not had these special “someone’s” in his life do you think he would have grown up to be one of the greatest players in the NBA?
Every child including those with special needs have an interest in something and want someone to acknowledge their interests. Every child has a special talent, gift or skill and wants someone to help them discover it. Every child needs someone to teach them, guide them or correct them. Every child needs to see that someone believes in them. If a child doesn’t know what their special talent, gift or skill is how can they act on it?
There are a lot of talented people with special gifts and talents who have dealt with homelessness or have a history of living in poverty. Many of these people at one point had an interest in something but their interests were ignored or looked down on.
If you are a parent, family member or a person who works with children or young adults take the time to invest in them. Understand that everyone who is a certain physical age may not always function mentally or emotionally at their age level so try to figure out where that person is and meet them at their development level. Find out what the person’s interests are and acknowledge it so they can see value in their interests. Help a person discover/develop their special talent, gift or skill no matter how big or small. If you see a person who likes to play a musical instrument, encourage them to play and become the best musician they can be. Never view it as just something they like to do or tell them they can’t be a musician because they come from a low-income neighborhood. Giving someone some of your time and supporting their ideas and dreams will bring out the greatness on the person. Everyone will not be a LeBron James but everyone has the potential to be someone great to someone with the right support.
Copyright Cleveland Street Chronicle April 2016 Issue 23.2 Cleveland Ohio