James Rabe and Sheriff Kevin Torgerson at Stewartville’s D.A.R.E. Graduation (VIDEO)
Friday was one of those days that makes you feel all is right with the world. Plus some snow to make it all pretty. What made it good? Oh, lots of things, and then ending the workday at Stewartville High School for the D.A.R.E. graduation and cheering students (more on that in a second).
Deputy Dan Johnson, with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office, got in touch a while back. He's one of the D.A.R.E. instructors for Stewartville Middle School 6th grade. They were looking for a speaker and could I do it? It only needs to be 10-15 minutes of me talking about good decision making.
I said sure, I'd love to. Speaking is one of my side things (I'm out of town starting Tuesday night to be the keynote speaker at a youth leadership event)...talking about leadership, honest to goodness real things you can do to power thru, and, in this case, how to ask for help.
Before I gave the talk, I asked around for advice. "What should I tell the 6th graders?" The number one piece of advice from recovering addicts to parents was...tell them it's OK to ask for help. And explain what that means and how they can do it. The same story emerged over and over again in conversations. People saying they were scared or embarrassed to ask for help early on when poor decisions were made.
So that's what I went for. Not exactly a rah-rah talk, but thinking about dealing with depression or kidney failure, it was surprisingly hard for me to ask for help. In both cases, what really saved me was someone else telling me I should talk to a doctor. And thank goodness for them, or I might not be here today.
I'm not sure I kept it to the time required, but they were a great audience and I asked for a favor at the end. A selfie video with them cheering. After Sheriff Torgerson spoke, he did the same thing...so that's what I captured here. The selfie-video I shot and the one the Sheriff taking a selfie while the students were chanting.
This is one of the reasons I love speaking...the energy in the room is amazing.