Challenges For The Not-Forgotten
By HEINZ DINTER, PhD
Made even more important by the devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina and its affect upon our children, many having also been torn from their family roots, a unique book-publishing project will place 200,000 copies of a book titled Challenges For The Not-Forgotten into the hands of our youth whose future spells uncertainty without guidance.
The choice is ours. We spend untold millions replacing what children take from us and then punish them for having turned bad or we help youngsters who have no positive aim in life and have no possible role model to look up to become productive, law-abiding citizens.
Many of today's youth are not that lucky because they do not have that someone to look up to, no one who will guide them, and the break that leads to success eludes them.
What if the youngster who broke into your car, or snatched your loved one's purse, or caused you to be late for a meeting because I-95 was closed while the search was on for rock-throwing children is visited by the same luck that befell you? Then, perhaps only then, you and your family will be safe. But, do we dare rely on luck when our own well-being is at stake?
Dr. Michael Hughes, director of the Hughes Family Psychiatry Center in Coral Gables, Florida and clinical professor of psychiatry (voluntary) at the University of Miami School of Medicine explains: "Children learn who they are and what they can become by what they are told, but primarily they emulate their parents and the role models that they see in their families, their schools, their community, and their country. Children also need heroes to idealize and emulate."
The Honorable Robert P. Kaye, former judge in the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court in Miami, Florida (he retired in 2000) shares his experience from the bench: "Persons who commit crimes are usually classified as psychopaths, or sociopaths and there are some who commit crimes strictly for profit but all do it because of a lack of moral and ethical responsibility. This lack of proper social behavior is usually learned through life's experiences those events which instill a deep sense of anger or despair, of helplessness or sense of not belonging."
"These feelings become deep-rooted and eventually break loose into anti-social behavior which we recognize as lawlessness and crime," observes Judge Kaye. "Most of these root causes are experienced early in life in the formative years, the days of our early upbringing. This means the home environment. It is at this stage that our understanding of authority and rules of behavior are formed. Our parents mold our personalities by their teaching and example. Some of us are fortunate to have had excellent role models as parents some of us have been less fortunate. Generally speaking, these less fortunate persons are the ones who find themselves in trouble with the law as they grow older and developed. The rules of behavior in a civilized society seem less important to them, or meaningless, because they have no comparisons by which to judge their own behavior."
The Honorable Joseph P. Farina, chief judge of the Miami-Dade County Circuit Court issues a call to arms: "We judges can do little more without being joined by the reestablishment of family values, the invigoration of the traditional religious institutions, the improvement of the educational system all around us, and following the Golden Rule."
Dr. Hughes continues his explanation: "The process for children and adolescents of becoming who they are is described in various ways: primarily it involves emulating and identifying with parents and extended family. But the school, community, the larger country and world around them also provide important role models and heroes."
"Children need role models and heroes to emulate and for identification," Dr. Hughes emphasizes.
Chief judge Farina adds a stern warning: "But society is developing more violent people than ever before and it is going to be worse."
The demographics paint a grim picture: the juvenile population in Florida, for example, in the next five to ten years will grow 40%. That's where the largest increase in violent crime will be found rape, robbery, murder, burglary, assault.
"We must stop developing this violent person because there are not enough judges, not enough courtrooms, not enough prisons to try, sentence and house the number of bad people our society is creating," Farina adds to his warning. "We have to reach further back."
Judge Kaye goes beyond meting out punishment: "Yes, we need the law and we need the rules of punishment that are embodied in our statutes, but in addition, we need to instill within our youth the proper principals of morality and behavior, and this can only come from proper parenting, appropriate teaching in our schools and houses of worship and a willingness to improve our own sense of self-worth."
Where does our future lie? Judge Kaye suggests, "Parents must accept responsibility for guiding their children at an early age. Throughout the formative years, our children must have the opportunity to learn from role models. Our youth, guided by parents and teachers, protect our peace of mind and secure our future."
I, computer technology entrepreneur turned author and publisher, have embarked on a project to help our youth meet role models to guide them in seeking a productive future. I am writing a book that introduces our youth to more than 100 role models.
Let us invest in the future — yours, mine, and especially our children's who will live it and seek their happiness by it. Let us help challenge our forgotten children with messages of motivation.
Inspired by the knowledge that we are blessed with many positive role models (past and present) who guide our youth, I am preparing a book with far-reaching purposes: stimulate interest in reading, inspire our youth by turning positive thoughts into rewarding action, and place the book into their hands with the compliments of corporate and individual sponsors.
Challenges For The Not-Forgotten will contain profiles of those who faced insurmountable obstacles without giving up hope, overcame tremendous odds, had humble beginnings and reached the top, dedicated themselves to help others, put their talents to productive use and achieved success, or offer inspiration with their life’s story that’s worth knowing about.
Each profile gives a brief, inspirational introduction of the subject and also contains titles of books by and about the subject with the intent of motivating the reader of Challenges to also reach for these books, and quotations — the thoughts of and inspirational messages from the subjects.
Please view a draft copy of the book — including the table of contents and sample profiles — on the Internet at www.GrandLifestyle.com/challenges-draft.pdf.
Challenges For The Not-Forgotten is for youth between the ages of eight and eighteen. It is also for adults — parents, mentors, and those whose job it is to guide our youth — to serve as a “tool” in their quest of helping children become productive members of society. As a tool, this book is a compact, diverse source of profiles introducing those from whom a child may find the inspiration to aim for his or her own future.
successful people are the result of proper guidance from their elders and
learning about others — role models to learn from and to be inspired
by. That’s where reading comes in. Let us awaken
our children’s interest so they can achieve their potential. Their dreams
can be realized when they see how others overcome difficulties or earn
The 320-page book, an 8½x11 hardcover edition with numerous color photographs, will make a thought-provoking and enduring impact with its messages aimed at our children.
With the support of sponsors, the 200,000 copies of the book will be distributed — compliments of the sponsors — to organizations dedicated to youngsters who need help finding their way so they won't wander aimlessly through life.
In addition to the hardcover edition, the book will also be available on the Internet. For sponsors who have their own website, the book provides this additional benefit: the Internet-published book will contain a link to the sponsor's website.
The participation of sponsors in this project will make a distinct impact on America’s efforts to lead our youth to successful and productive adulthood.
I issue this challenge to sponsors: "Let us not hold our children captive. Let us guide them in the right direction. If we forget our children today, your peace of mind and mine will suffer tomorrow. More importantly, think of the peace of mind of our children and grandchildren.
Dr. Hughes addresses this need: "Our society has many valuable role models in many fields. They do not always achieve the recognition and visibility they deserve, particularly for our children and youth who need them. This is a time for leaders and role models to stand up and be counted. It is also a time for all of us to point to what our society believes in and stands for; to highlight our valuable leaders and achievers as figures for emulation by our children."
"The justice system is a big umbrella," Judge Farina explains. "The court system is only one rib. The other ribs of that umbrella are the family, the clergy, the school system, the job market, equal opportunity in getting jobs so people feel they are part of the system."
"The court system is an important part," the judge adds, "though we are a sanctioning part, we also try to help mold behavior. Our hope is getting to the young people in kindergarten and in elementary school. That's where our resources must be focused because by the time we see them in the Juvenile Division it's almost too late."
"There are many real and valuable heroes and constructive contributors to the good of our world who deserve recognition and the attention of our youth," Dr. Hughes states. "Heinz Dinter’s Challenges For The Not-Forgotten book project seeks to do just that."
“What is a worthwhile challenge?” I, a 67-year-old retired computer executive ask myself at this juncture in my life.
Concentrate on helping our youth secure their future kept prodding me from the top of the list. The choice was obvious and led to this rewarding project, write and publish a book that will help our children find the way — and place the book into the hands of youngsters.. My six grandchildren, ages five months through 17 years, are my pride and joy, and I will do my very best to secure for them a bright future full of positive challenges and peace of mind.
Coupled with my own experience learning the value of looking up to positive role models and my love for writing and publishing, it was not difficult to make the decision. Taking on the challenge of creating Challenges For The Not-Forgotten and reaching out to the children who will play a significant role on how that future will deal with everyone (our own children and grandchildren included) will — with the help from others — have positive, rewarding results.
It’s a win-win combination. The sponsor’s participation helps our children and also benefits the sponsor. This cannot be a single-handed effort. That’s why I am asking for sponsor participation.
Please click on the respective links to learn more about the thoughts of
Chief Judge Farina at http://www.grandlifestyle.com/reachback.htm,
Dr. Hughes at http://www.GrandLifestyle.com/childrenneed.htm, and
Judge Kay at http://www.GrandLifestyle.com/law&rolemodel.htm.
â Click below to read
Children learn who they are and what they can become by what they are told,
but primarily they emulate their parents and the role models that they see
in their families, their schools, their community, and their country.
Children also need heroes to idealize and emulate.
judges can do little more without being joined by the reestablishment of
family values, the invigoration of the traditional religious institutions,
the improvement of the educational system all around us, and following
Our society has many
valuable role models in many fields. They do not always achieve the
recognition and visibility they deserve, particularly for our children and
youth who need them
Throughout the formative
years, our children must have the opportunity to learn from role models.