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STRONG MINDED
TEENAGERS
QUOTE
LIVING LIKE THIS
AT SCHOOL
(EXTRA)ORDINARY STORIES
SPRINGBOARD
LOOKING BEYOND
SCHOOL-MATES
THE
STRENGTH
OF
CHAMPIONS
QUOTE
“I have scored wining baskets
at the closing bell – 11 times, and
another 17 times at least, I scored
less than ten seconds from the bell,
but I have missed to score on
more than 9000 shots, in my
career.
I have lost almost
300 games.
For 26 times, I have been
trusted with the
game winning shot
and missed…
I’ve failed over
and over and over
again in my life,
And that is why,
I succeed”.
Michael Jordan
LIVING LIKE THIS
AT THE BEGINNING OF THE
YEAR, MY MOTHER BOUGHT ME
A NEW PAIR OF SHOES WHICH I
IMMEDIATELY WORE TO SCHOOL.
AS IS OUR CUSTOM, BEFORE
ENTERING THE CLASS, I TOOK OFF
THE SHOES FROM MY FEET. BUT
AT THE END OF THE LESSONS:
THEY HAD DISSAPPEARED!!!
A pair of… friends
A FRIEND
SUGGESTED TO
ME TO LOOK AT A
WEBSITE, WHERE
ONE RESELLS
THINGS.
I CHECKED AND I FOUND A PAIR OF
SHOES VERY SIMILAR TO MINE.
THERE WAS THE CELL PHONE NUMBER
OF WHO WANTED TO SELL IT AND
IT WAS OF ONE OF MY CLASSMATES.
I WAS TOO SHOCKED FOR WORDS!!!
MY OWN FRIEND HAD BETRAYED ME.
I COULD NOT SLEEP, I SUFFERED A LOT
BECAUSE I THOUGHT I HAD LOST A FRIEND
AND DID NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO.
I
N THE END, I DECIDED TO FORGIVE
HIM, BELIEVEING THAT THERE IS
JESUS IN HIM, THINKING THAT THERE
CERTAINLY WOULD BE A SERIOUS
REASON FOR HIM TO BE ROBBING
MY SHOES.
EVEN MY PARENTS WERE IN
AGREEMENT WITH MY DECISION.
AT SCHOOL
I CALMED HIM DOWN SAYING
THAT WE COULD REMAIN
FRIENDS AS BEFORE. MY
TEACHER SPOKE WELL TO HIS
PARENTS AND THE MATTER
WAS RESOLVED AND EVEN
MY SHOES WERE RETURNED
TO ME.
THE NEXT DAY, I SPOKE TO THE
TEACHER ABOUT IT; SHE LET ME
SPEAK TO THAT FRIEND PRIVATELY,
WHO WHILE CRYING, ASKED ME TO
EXCUSE HIS BEHAVIOUR AND TOLD
ME THAT HE HAD NEED FOR SOME
MONEY.
Vittorio's experience – L.A. USA
AT school the music teacher suggested to a
friend of mine and myself to take part in a violin
recital. Some days before the date of the recital, the
teacher decided to cancel it and she choose another
boy without assigning any reason whatsoever.
THROUGH THIS EXPERIENCE I EXPERIENCED HOW BY
LOVING JESUS IN OUR BROTHER ONE FEELS ALL THE LOVE
OF GOD.
When my friend came to
know of this, he became
very angry and started to
criticise our teacher.
It occurred to me that
criticising our teacher
would do no good because
I knew that even in her
there was Jesus, even
though she did not treat us
well.
So I decided to change the
subject in order to help my
friend to be more calm.
I asked him if we could play
during the interval and so
we started speaking about
games and he came to be
more at peace. At the break
we played together and we
had fun.
(EXTRA)ORDINARY STORIES
CONNER E CAYDEN,
TWO BROTHERS,
A STORY OF
(EXTRA)ORDINARY LOVE
by Claudio Arrigoni
FROM THE CORRIERE SERA, ITALY
There is
something heavenly
in the love between
siblings. The
extraordinary is
lived as ordinary,
with beautiful
stories. Like that of
Conner and Cayden
Long. Conner is
nine years old while
Cayden is seven.
The younger
brother was
diagnosed with
Cerebral Palsy when
he was only four
months old,
because of which
he could not walk
and talk. Conner
loves to play, just
like other children
his age and plays
many sports.
Football, for example, like
every teenager in the USA. And
Cayden, with mum and dad,
was always there, at the edge
of the field, to cheer him on.
One thing that Conner wanted
most of all to do was to have
fun with Cayden. But obviously
he could not.
One day he had an idea. It was spring of 2011, and
he was seven years old. While his mother Jenny was
looking through a magazine, Conner saw an
advertisement. A sporting event for kids with
swimming, cycling and running, entitled, ‘The Nashville
Kids Triathlon’. «Well mom, can I try it out?» «Why not,
Conner?» «Uhm, ok. Could Cayden also come?» Well
that question surprised Jenny, «You never want to say
no to your son, but…» No ‘buts’ for Conner though.
Finally he and Cayden could have some fun together,. It
was enough to have a little bit of fantasy. The organisers
of the race were among the first of many to
understand.
And so was born Team Long. Conner e Cayden together.
The triathlon unites those three sports and they are even
more united while doing the triathlon. Conner swims
pulling an inflatable boat or raft on which lies Cayden, then
he goes on the bicycle towing a kind of wheelchair and
pushes the same in the running part of the race. A fantastic
team.
A little less than 45 minutes later, between strokes,
cycling and running to reach the finishing line: the
arms raised to the sky of Conner and the smile of
Cayden to show that how, both have fun.
They have beome a
Since they began, they
have toured the west
coast of the USA to
participate in about
twenty contests, so far.
big source of
inspiration (their
Facebook page, ‘Team
Long Brothers’ has
almost 25,000 ‘likes’
and is full of messages
of encouragement,
especially from
mothers & fathers of a
child with disability) so
as to achieve the
honour, «Sportkids of
the Year» that every
year is given by one of
the world’s most
prestigious sports
magazine, «Sports
Illustrated» to
youngsters.
They were gathered
on a stage together
with basketball legend
LeBron James, who
invited them to
Miami. Music stars
such as Jay Z and
Beyoncè wanted to
speak with them.
SPRINGBOARD
What is true
VICTORY?
“Even the greatest
athletes have known
failures and mishaps, but
since they preserved they
have had success.”
“The cup that awaits
us is much more
valuable; it is called
Paradise, where we
would like to reach with
an infinite array of teen
won over by us.”
“Make of every obstacle a
springboard”
“Why don’t we make a
challenge of who makes
the most number of acts
of love in a day?”
All phrases are from the writings of Chiara Lubich
(springboard – ‘Teens for unity’ centre)
My reflections…
LOOKING BEYOND
ITALIAN COALITION
“STOP THE USE OF CHILDREN AS SOLDIERS!”
In some countries of the world, there is still a lot
to be done so that children can live their
childhood.
Raise your hand and say “STOP” to the use of
boys and girls in armed conflicts.
Visit the website www.bambinisoldato.it
6.000 children
exploited in Congo.
There are nearly 6.000 children
exploited in Congo, of those,
around 30 are girls, all drafted
into the armed forces or armed
groups. About 80% of these
cases are concentrated in the
areas of North and South Kivu.
Afghanistan,
Soldiers at 8 years of
age.
In Afghanistan there are over 70
cases of recruitment and use of
children in war, many of whom
are just 8 years old. They are
mainly intended for the
construction of weapons and
explosive devices (because
children have small hands). In at
least 10 cases they were drafted
by armed groups to carry out
suicide attacks.
The “historic" release of child soldiers in Myanmar.
On 18th January, 2014 in Rangoon, the Burmese army freed
96 children drafted into the army at a younger age. This was
announced by the United Nations, recognising in this action a
«historic step» towards the end of using child soldiers all over
the world. Until now 272 child soldiers have been returned to
civil life in Myanmar.
Syrian children: arrested, tortured and used as
human shields.
In the extremely violent Syrian Civil War, armed groups of the
opposition forces have recruited and used children for
combat and other military roles. While no information is
available on recruitment of children by the government
forces, the national army is found to be guilty of arrests,
arbitrary detentions and torture of minors and many children
have been used as human shields.
In Southern Sudan the highest number of children
recruited.
Neither is there any precise information nor the clear use of
minors in the War in Southern Sudan, but the United Nations
has verified the recruitment and use of 252 teenagers
between the ages of 14 to 17 years.
STRONG MINDED
What is the culture of giving?
Culture: is a way of living and thinking.
Today’s culture: the more you possess,
the more you buy, consume and the
more you are happy.
But given that ‘having’ does not give
true happiness, one thinks that one
should have even more to be happy.
It is like a sickness.
In fact, Jesus said,
“There is more joy in giving than in
receiving.”
This medicinal antidote, is the culture of
giving.
We would like to carry this medicine to
everyone: the culture of giving.
We live it personally.
TEENAGERS
WITH OUR
ACTIVITIES
WE GIVE
A LOT OF
CHILDREN,
THE POSSIBILITY
OF ATTENDING
SCHOOL
FIND OUT ABOUT THE «TO GIVE» PROJECTS
ON OUR WEBSITE:
www.school-mates.org
[email protected]
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