Friday, February 17, 2012

The Power of Parents

This entry is a deviation from the normal information on training and health, but has everything to do with the Warrior Spirit. Below is a column that Vai Sikahema wrote for a Utah newspaper. (We featured a story about Vai in a past post: http://www.haskestrength.com/2010/07/is-bigger-always-better.html ) He's a Warrior. I think his column is great. The speech by Mayor Nutter will take about 12 minutes of your time to watch, but it's great to know that there are some leaders (as opposed to politicians) left who are willing and able to say what needs to be said.

Finally, I share with you a You Tube clip of a speech Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter gave to his own family's congregation at the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church last summer following a flash mob incident in downtown Philadelphia where 20-30 teenagers looted stores, robbed and assaulted innocent bystanders. If you're a parent, grandparent, youth leader or scoutmaster, I strongly suggest you watch the clip. We watched it for family home evening earlier this week. It is raw, emotional and very powerful.
Mayor Nutter was straightforward, blunt and by his own admission, "not PC." To fathers who only provide a monthly check but give no direction to their kids, don't know where they are or who they hang out with, "you're not fathers ... you're just human ATMs." And to those who provide neither financial assistance or guidance, "you're just sperm donors."
His most pointed remarks were reserved for the youth of Philadelphia. "Take those doggone hoodies down, especially in the summer. Buy a belt! Nobody wants to see your underwear or the crack of your butt! Buy a belt! Learn some manners. Keep your butt in school, go to college, make something of yourself and be a good citizen. Extend your English vocabulary beyond the few curse words that you know, some other grunts and grumbles and other things that none of us understand anything that you're saying.
"And if you go to look for a job ... don't go blaming it on the white folks or anybody else if you walk into somebody's office with your hair uncombed and a pick in the back, with your shoes untied and your pants half down, tattoos up and down your arm, on your face, on your neck and you wonder why somebody won't hire you? They don't hire you 'cause you look like you're crazy! That's why they're not hiring you."
After a moment of calm, he closed with this: "If you act like you got some sense ... you'd be surprised at what opportunities will open up to you."
Father to father, I'm with you Mr. Mayor.

Vai Sikahema is the Sports Director and Anchor for NBC10 Philadelphia and host of the "Vai & Gonzo Show" on ESPN Philadelphia Radio. He is a two-time All-Pro, two-time Emmy Award winner and was a member of BYU's 1984 National Championship team.

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