For over 30 years Bob Lenz has spoken in over 23,000 schools in the United States. His book is "Dignity Revolution: Standing Up for the Value of Every Person". He hopes his book will teach people how to stop judging others by how they look, or what they can or cannot do - but instead see ea
ch individual as someone that needs love and deserves respect.
He says when he looks at youth today and sees how many are struggling with the value of who they are, the self-harm that is occurring and leading to suicide. How we are treating one another these days, the message young people need to hear is "YOU MATTER" - no matter what people have done to you, no matter what people have said to you, no matter how you've been treated, and even the mistakes you've made - YOU HAVEN'T LOST YOUR VALUE.
Young people are one of the hardest audiences, it is a constantly changing audience and going through more changes every day through social media.
Bob speaks in at least 100 schools a year and he has a reason behind his passion to reach young people. Growing up himself he had 2 special needs siblings. His brother had multiple handicaps, mental retardation, scoliosis, cerebral palsy, epilepsy. His sister also had special needs and he himself had a speech impediment. His speech impediment required him to get pulled out of class to go to a special education class and people would laugh at him. They would call him special needs like his brother. Bob can remember the pain he felt.
When people are bullied they want to run away and hide or they want to fight back. When we see school shootings and stuff like that we wonder what the approach should be. How do you tell people they are valuable? We need to help people deal with this issue without fighting back, hiding, and self-destruction.
Bob wondered when he looked at his brother's life. Did it have value? He couldn't walk, he couldn't talk, never went to school - DID HIS LIFE MATTER?
In Hitler's regime he had a program (Action T4) that meant "life not worthy of life" and he wondered if his brother's life was worthy and if his life was because he didn't measure up.
But if his brother Tim's life mattered then so does every one of these kids' lives who are attempting suicide and struggling with that feeling of emptiness inside.
Bob said that he had a teacher that told him to never go into public speaking and he is doing what he is doing today to rebel. Watching his mom and her love for his brother and sister - they mattered. What if these youth knew love. What if they knew the ultimate love.
So much of what he does is rooted in a passion for the Lord, he cannot speak Jesus in the public schools but he can talk value, principles and that plants the seed that we are worth it. Worth it to God. As Christians we should be sharing that every person is valuable.
In his book he shares stories and also shares what to do as a parent when your child is bullied and what to do as a teacher. He is trying to teach how to approach the issue of bullying.
He shares that everyone has a destiny. The thumbprint of the Creator is on every person and we need to show this and share this.
When Bob goes into schools he has an hour long program - they come in with an illusionist and him as the speaker. They try and get the kids laughing. If kids are laughing then they will listen and when they listen they learn. Then they get to share many stories that the kids can relate to. They have a time after to help kids and give them resources. They also have a program at a church near the school at night where they open the door to these kids and can share faith with them. They encourage kids to take the dignity pledge
If you or someone you know is facing abuse you
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