Where is your youth?

July 9, 2010 at 9:10 am 2 comments

So…I am awaiting the managers assistance at a retail store the other the other day and as I waited, I chose that time to put my best people watching eyes on and observe the wonderful, yet disconnected lifestyles we carry out. Watching person after person checking out at the register, as the seasoned cashier aggressively asked each person to open a credit card to save 10% on their purchase, not one applied – but each gave a lesser exchange of gratitude for the service they received with a smile.

As the minutes ticked into the first 15 minutes, I couldn’t help but to notice the herd of kids creating quite the stir of profane dialect and ruckus throughout the store. They were grabbing and moving anything they could as they where in hot pursuit by a diligent employee.

After a number of entrances and exits, they found themselves huddled around the sunglasses stand. As they continued to play dress up, I was keen to hone in on one particular character without shoes on. Bantering about how “this town is full of trailer trash and how he couldn’t believe how disgusting everyone was!” – BINGO, I am in!

So, “Where are you from!?” I said in a convincing manner to ensure an answer with a slight bit of respect. “Long Island” he replied promptly. “Did you move here with your family?”  “Yes,” he replied.

“And are you working?” I ask.   “I was just laid off but I was…” and he began to get as defensive as a kid without shoes can get.  “Where were you working?”  “At a gas station in Daytona.”  “Gas station” I said, “many people would find that to be trashy.” He says, “yea, that is why I am going to school to become a nurse.”  “Well good for you” I stated – and then I started. Now most of you will cringe, but I can analyze a situation and communicate in a manner amongst people that not only will keep it interesting but, entertaining and subtly respectful. It was my time to witness. (For some of you, that means talk about my Jesus.)  “If you died today and there was a heaven would you make it?” He replies, “I don’t know but I do know where earth is, as he pointed out the entrance. I say, “if I where to ask you the last time you did something for a complete stranger would you remember a time?”  With a quick defense he says, “yea the other day for my neighbor…I raked her lawn!” So I said, “for free?” He replied in a lie of a manner, “yea!” At this point I allowed the conversation to get personal and incorporate his other two hoodies that were standing by as to act as if they couldn’t hear our exchange.

I asked how old, what school, etc. After collecting the obvious data, I asked them how the drug scene and corruption is.  They look at me in dismay as if…how did I know? My day was about to change…and outlook on them forever. The discouragement and heavy heart they all had as they began to tell me how the place they call home has been over run by drugs and illegal activity almost drew me to tears.

I allowed them to voice their concern and hopelessness and as soon as they finished I asked them what they where doing about it…In awe they looked as if they couldn’t do anything, I began to tell them how, when I was around their age I started my own company to change the exact problems you are dealing with. “Nothing is new under the sun guys” I explained. They where compelled to hear more about what it is I had done and what I am doing. I told them this conversation right now is being part of the solution.

Change your lives first, clean up your mouths, and keep a sharp eye out for someone in need. Lead by example.

Now the oldest of the three happen to be the one I initiated with to start off with and I told him …It is your job! Start today, stop “being like” and start “being it”.

As the manager made her way back to me and she confirmed the validity behind my owning of a business, the 3 youths where in awe. I left them with something. I told them I went to the same school, with the same problems and I chose to do something different. I chose to change my life, to lead by example…so what are you going to do about it?

As I left the exchange and made it to my car, I felt led to go back and supply Greg, the leader of the pack, with a Pickel shirt we developed, “Make Peace Not War”. You see, I carry them around everywhere I go. It is the apparel that started it all. Pickel Clothing was started to give back to the youth and the birther of Baby Pickel. As I walked in with a shirt in hand and gave it to Greg, I informed him of how much he is loved and this small gesture is the key to continuing the journey in which we are all called. Now he didn’t necessarily deserve it and most likely had pockets stuffed of items stolen along with his friends. But he, along with his crew, were deer in headlights that afternoon and I was honored to have been given the opportunity to continue Pickel’s legacy in the most genuine and unpredictable way.

What have you done today to spread the good word?

If you have a story to share…send it to us. We would love to feature and help keep the fire burning!

How ’bout them Pickel Prayers!



Entry filed under: Chenzo Script.

You try a Pickel Prayer! Hold on tight…

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Nicole  |  July 9, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    Thanks for the reminder to lead by example! So often in the day to day struggle of life, I lose sight of it. So…thank you. And – cool shirt!

  • 2. Peter G  |  July 9, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Kudos to you for saying something to today’s youth! Here’s to the hope that more people will do the same.


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