I received a message asking why they shouldn’t run away from home. There is so much uncertainty with our young adults and with all the resources, they still feel like running. What next? How can we help them? How can we prevent this mindset? Listen.

I love our annual child abuse prevention event (Live For 175) because it opens up the conversation of abuse. This is an umbrella to me. I think you have abused and then several subheadings like; child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, and the list goes on. I’m bringing this up because I received an email from a teen and because another high school kid from Meridian took his life last month. Abuse is REAL. Bullying kills. Domestic violence destroys. Child abuse begins the cycle.

This is the message that I received over the weekend.

Kekeluv, why shouldn’t I leave and run away. Why should I live anymore especially why nobody believes me or trusts me. What’s next? Why should I go on? Nobody wants me here anyways.

Dear Important,

You mean so much, but you understand so little. This isn’t your fault. This is your age. I want you to celebrate that and wear it proud! Most of us only get older and at your minor teenage, this moment will be the youngest for the rest of your life. This point you read…is the smallest age you will ever achieve. We get older by the tick-tock. I only know what I’ve learned by the things in life that have affected me. Some people have unfortunate experiences more than the rest because of the life they entered in. That’s not your fault.

I want you to understand that running away only prolongs the problem. I just talked to another teen on Friday that was ready to run away too. She had a great explanation, but it was really a laundry list of anything that could justify not dealing with problems. She was running from her problems and that is the last second answer that she had. I gave her some advice and it’s simple to me but probably extremely difficult to follow.

There are so many kids that are ready to throw in the towel on life. I'm not sure why this is even an option, but it must be pretty bad. I've tried to take the other approach and reach as many parents as possible. It's just math. Parents back in the day could escape problems at school by going home. You figure that if you escaping them at lunch or maybe a class - you would be okay. Those days are over and if parents think they should just, "deal with it" you're in for a destructive surprise. Today's kids are being bullied before, during, after, and on holidays. How? The internet.

My advice to all teens is simple if you can do it. You will probably NEVER see these same kids after you graduate. You DO KNOW that after school EVERYTHING changes right? You could be working with the same person who was mean to you in school. Life is completely different outside of class and if you just learn how to battle through, you'll be just fine. Just look at these conflicts as small challenges for bigger things in the future. This is just life experience and you're so young that you have very little and THAT is why it seems like the end of the world. It's not though.

Hang in there. Learn. Focus. Make yourself a priority and not everyone else. Surround yourself with people that like you for YOU. Don't try to be what you're not and remember that outside of school it's totally different. Just wait it out and I promise it will get better. You got this.