My wife, Shelly Fryer, shared the following two things with her students at Positive Tomorrows today, thanks to the recommendation of her principal, Susan Agel.

The first is a graduation speech by US Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, shared in the Wall Street Journal last week as the editorial, “Life Lessons From Navy SEAL Training.” There are so many excellent nuggets of wisdom and encouragement here. She also read it to our entire family tonight after dinner. It reminded me of Marcus Luttrell’s excellent book, “Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10,” which I read several years ago, and is now a motion picture. This article is well worth not only reading but also sharing aloud with your students and your family. Few of us will train to be Navy Seals and fewer still will complete that training. As Admiral McRaven shared, however, ALL of us can learn many lessons from their experiences and their disciplined choices.

Secondly, Shelly shared with her students the nine minute video, “The Story of Caron Butler.”

Caron is a new member of the Oklahoma City Thunder basketball team, and his story of hardship, second chances, perseverance and gratitude for those who helped him rise above his circumstances to become a role model for so many is touching. Having visited two of our Oklahoma prisons in the past year with the “Redeeming the Family” ministry organization, Caron’s story of incarceration and new life of better choices struck me as particularly poignant. Depending on their circumstances, Caron’s story may or may not resonate deeply with your students. It certainly did with several of Shelly’s today, however, and after watching it myself this evening I know it’s worth passing along.

The words and choices we make each day can make a HUGE difference in our own lives and in the lives of others. Never doubt that the work you do each day as an educator, a parent, a grandparent, a community member, a family member, or a friend MATTERS. Read Admiral McRaven’s graduation speech and watch Caron Butler’s eight minute video story. Then share them along with at least one other person. You’ll be glad you did.

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