Modern Day Heroes

     We have a crisis in America. According to statistics collected by the Children’s Defense Fund, every day in America: 
    • 5 children or teens commit suicide. 
    • 8 children or teens are killed by firearms.
    • 1,154 babies are born to teen mothers. 
    • 2,467 high school students drop out. 
    • 2,421 children are confirmed as abused or neglected. 
    • 3,477 children are arrested, 451 of them for violent crimes or drug abuse. 
     Never before in the history of western civilization has a generation of children been subjected to such an avalanche of vulgarity, violence, drug use, alcohol abuse, and sexual promiscuity.  Every day our kids are feeding their minds out of post modern media’s “garbage can” of content. No wonder so many of them are sick. Our kids are losing the battle to maintain what little moral character they have left.
     For most people, this is a messy, uncomfortable problem that they would prefer someone else deal with.  But that in itself is a big part of how we got to where we are at today, apathy.  Every parent, teacher, coach, pastor, and politician in this country knows that this is happening. Some stick their heads in the sand. Others want to help, but don’t know how. Our schools, government and churches throw millions of dollars at this problem, but it’s not money that will end this crisis, its “Modern Day Heroes”. 
     Who are these “Modern Day Heroes”?  Coaches, teachers, school administrators, pastors, government, and business people who devotedly sacrifice their time, talent, and treasure for kids.
     Modern Day Heroes usually aren't on the front page of the news or in People magazine. Modern Day Heroes don't care about fame, fortune, or a place in history. Modern Day Heroes are real, ordinary people that have an extraordinary effect on the lives of young people. 
     Our virtue starved kids need heroes. They need to see ordinary people living virtuous lives. They need to see adults taking the “high road” and setting an example. Heroics through virtue. 
     Modern Day Heroes provide kids with hope. Many of our kids have had bad experiences with adults. Broken homes, abusive parents, drug and alcohol addictions form the modern family landscape. Heroes show kids that adults are not all bad. Maybe they've never really been loved. By serving and caring for them in the proper manner, Heroes give kids the hope that love is more than just an idea, but rather something real they can experience. Heroes enable kids to have hope for themselves and their future. Heroes keep the glimmer in the eyes and the smiles on the faces of young people from fading as they get older.
     Have you been called to be a “Modern Day Hero”? Have you been called to partner with thousands of other coaches, teachers, school administrators, pastors, government, and business people across America who are now re-dedicating their lives to being heroes in order to save our kids? Why sleep walk through this life as an average human being?  
     Be a Hero!
By Randy Traeger
Head Football Coach, Mt Angel Oregon Kennedy High School