I’m home at last from my stint in Wales supporting my daughter as she gave her first radio interview. I also went with her to The Prince’s Trust And Samsung Celebrate Success awards in Cardiff (try saying that three times after a few glasses of celebratory fizz!).
Rachel was one of three finalist, but she didn’t win the award; although she’s a winner through and through as far as I’m concerned! It was weird watching her as she climbed onstage to collect her certificate: pride, mixed with wonder, mixed with awe, mixed with relief that she didn’t fall flat on her face – what can I say, she has my clumsy gene.
The night lasted for quite a few hours, and I did worry that my broken derrière may not cope. Yet all thoughts of hard chairs and posterior ache were shamed into silence as soon as the award ceremony began. The journeys that carved the lives of these remarkable young people were – I want to say inspiring, but that almost sounds blasé. Let me put it this way; a lot of us are really quick to point out the rottenness that festers in our society, and most of us will have encountered a yob or two. But scratch the surface of this fractured planet that we call home and you will find really wonderful human beings who want to make something of their lives, who want to take on new challenges, who want to metaphorically fly; they just don’t know where to start. Throughout the evening I witnessed some of these amazing people, and I feel truly honoured to have been there.
I came away from the awards with a renewed belief in the awesomeness that dwells within almost every single person. Some may struggle to find it, some will suffer to find it and it saddens me to say that some may never find it. If, like The Prince’s Trust, we give support instead of criticism, clap and cheer instead of jeer and give these youngsters a chance, who knows what could be achieved!
Just take a look at this and tell me that all teenagers who lose their way, or don’t have the best start in lives couldn’t become contributing members of society with just a little help:
Moving eh? So please don’t dismiss every young person as a layabout or thug. We are all the results of nature and nurture, and we do have the ability to change. I should know, I’ve done it and so has Rachel. Yes, it’s true that we’ve changed by becoming more confident, less shy and proud to be ‘us’ – but it’s change nevertheless.
So, and not just because it’s Christmas and it’s the perfect time to have goodwill for all men, let’s all try to be a little less judgmental and a little more understanding. Because that young man you just crossed the street to avoid – is it possible he may be working two jobs to keep a roof over his mum’s head?