Sometimes it’s hard to believe the atrocities that we find pervasive in society today. Some hit the headlines and garner worldwide attention. Sadly, many hide in the shadows – until glimpses of light reveal their existence.

Yesterday, USA Today gave space to one such horror. A murder trial in Pennsylvania that involves a group of people whose voices are literally snipped before words ever cross their lips. It’s a hard story to read. Can’t imagine the folks who have lived it. How do we stop it?

In big part by talking about it.

One of our mantras here at the MOAT comes from the late Chuck Colson, “Culture doesn’t change people; people change culture.” Because, remember? We’re not victims. We actually can turn a tide. … When we’re aware. And when we want to.

Okay, so what does this have to do with our kids?  Here’s where training comes into play. As they learn (through even simple hurdles that daily surround them in their homes and at school) that mountains, more often than not, are opportunities rather than obstacles – they realize they can do so much more than they – or we – think they can. With tools in their pack, they can parlay their efforts into change. Change uniquely characterized by their own super creative and effective spin.

But in order bring about change, topics must be aired (like the topic of well-intentioned overparenting) – often and loudly.

As we train our kids, we need to include issue awareness. It starts so young. Because if they’re equipped and capable to address issues they see and deal with day in and day out – like bullying – they might be able to tackle issues that hide on a global level.

Because, you never know what might happen when you get an equipped kid involved.

Take for example the impact our young folks are having on yet another horrific, hidden-in-the-shadows issue: human trafficking.

Young girls are being sold into slavery all over the world and trafficked as if they were a commodity. Folks in our neck of the woods might be surprised to know that 2 Texas cities rank in the FBI’s top five for human trafficking networks. Yes, Houston is #1 with Dallas following closely behind at #3.

How can kids help? We don’t have to look too far. Just ask some our our college-aged kids involved in Louie Giglio’s The Passion Conference. Just this year alone they pooled their resources to raise over $3.3 to help stop this atrocity.

A movie hits the screens this weekend that strives to increase awareness. Not Today involves the transformation of a young adult from an entitled kid to an impassioned warrior. It’s what happens to kids when they become aware, then realize that not only can they get involved, they can make a difference.

But we have to be aware in order to change. This is not a little kid movie. It’s rated PG-13 for “mature thematic material.” Our friends at PluggedIn can fill you in. Still, how fun that awareness can involve a large coke and bucket of popcorn!

Anyway, check this out:

Not Today opens today across the country. Go see it. (Opening weekends are critical to a film’s market reach.) Be inspired. Take a box of tissue. Seriously, I cry just watching the trailer.

Maybe in order to train awareness we need to increase our own. — What do you think?

Crazy thing about increasing awareness – it just might involve that secret sauce of life. It moves us to do what we are created to do, a little less us – and a lot of loving others.

As always, thanks for walking the road with me.


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