A Group of People

These Tears Moved Me

In acknowledgement, inspiration, life, lifting up, words of life on March 22, 2011 at 3:11 am

Become a mentor, click here.

By Gunnar Simonsen

A young man came up to me after my remarks today at a spring break film camp for high school youth and shared a brief snapshot of his story.

He initially came up to both say thanks as well as sorry for hogging the forum with his comments and thoughts. I laughed and told him thank you and that I appreciated them.

What came next, I did not see…

Lost real dad at 2 to cancer, real mom stopped speaking to him 6 months ago, in and out of foster homes, and is autistic.

He is a young filmaker. I am guessing he is maybe a sophomore in high school.

I told him he mattered and that I am glad he found film making. In this, I told him that he can be a voice of hope to others walking in the same experiences as he. I told him that others would look to him for encouragement and that if he can make it… they can make it.

I told him to never give up. I told him he mattered and that he was valued.

Tears now filled his eyes as he simply said… thank you.

In the world, I am sure people struggled to understand him and perhaps just wrote him off without knowing the real story. We simply come and go without even realizing that perhaps that person we just bumped into… they just need to know from someone… they matter.

We talked for a little bit longer as tears still filled his eyes and a spring in his stepped had formed.

With a fist bump, we went our ways.

This interchange convicts me more than it lifts me. I wonder how many of these opportunities to encourage someone like this passes me by each and every day?

And why not? I am too busy.

Too busy for the things that truly matter in life.

It’s amazing to me that sometimes the things we do not see coming are also the things others hope to see coming. Yet, too often… we either give up hope that we will ever see it coming or we simply close our eyes and miss that which we did not see coming… but so badly needed to.

Can I tell you these tears moved me. Can I tell you the fist bump we gave each other moved me. Frankly, it was a little awkward and I got the feeling nobody had ever offered a fist bump to this kid before.

But you know what… outside of the fist bumps my daughter and I give to each other… it was the best fist bump ever.

Can I tell you the extra spring in his step motivated me?

My friends, in life… this is the stuff that matters.

After all of these years, I have had it all wrong. I want more of this.

Can there be anything more valuable than speaking words of life into others?

See for yourself.

..and you know, opportunities like this are all around. It’s called mentoring.

Please click the image above and find out how you can become a mentor and make a difference today.

  1. Sometimes we never know what a casual encounter with youth can do. I had a chance meeting years ago with a young man sitting on a curb in town here. We spoke for a few minutes and he asked me out of the blue what I thought a teenage life was worth. Seemed like and odd question but he was smiling and laughing so I told him what I thought and we chatted somemore and then he got a tear much like what you experienced.

    He said he was going to committ sucide because he thought no one cared about him. I took him home and we had a long talk with his parents. Short story is he did not committ sucide but I still keep in touch with him 3 years later. So you never know what a simple offhand conversation can lead too. Take the time everyone.

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