276 N. El Camino Real, #184
Oceanside CA 92058


(760) 298-8146
(760) 216-1353









There Between the Bookstore Shelves

One day I was in a bookstore shopping and had a conversion between the shelves that changed my point of view about what to say to your teens. A sales clerk stepped over to ask me "Can I help you find anything?" I told her, "Sure. I'm looking for books on the subjects of grace, forgiveness and teen suicide."

She hesitated. I could see the combination of subjects was a surprise. Nevertheless, she told me, "Let me go see what I can find," and took off for another section of the store.

A few minutes later the young woman was back with a couple of books in hand, which she handed to me. These were useful candidates which told me she not only heard what I had said, but that she knew her store's inventory. Impressive, I thought.

"If you don't mind me asking," she asked, "why those three subjects?" So I told her. After 30 years of speaking to Realtor® groups (- which I still do 760-298-8146 ask for Steve; there are 365 days in the year so if I spoke on 50 of them, I'm probably available on the day you want, see … after 30 years of that, I am also a public speaker dedicated to making a difference on the subject of preventing teen suicides. Suicide is how I lost my son, Travis. To have something useful to say on suicide and not speak up would be immoral, I believe. I thought her question showed good insight for a new clerk. I wanted to know from her, "Why did you ask me that?" I sensed there was a story there.

There was. She swallowed.

"When I was in high school, I was having a bad time and had finally decided to commit suicide at the end of the week. Then that week, we had a speaker who came to my school and something he said to me changed my whole outlook and I knew I had to live. OH! I know where there's another book for you! I'll be right back." And she scurried off.

Right now, you're thinking the same thing I was, aren't you. What did that man say that changed her outlook from death to life while he was still standing there? This could be a handy thing for a speaker such as myself to know. If it worked on others like it did on her, I should be saying it every time I talked to teens.

She was back in two minutes with another book.

"If you don't mind my asking, what was it he said that made such a difference to you?"

She told me,

"I know I'd heard it before, from my parents and even some friends. But something about the way he said it that day, the passion he said it with, I just really believed it that time when he said it.

He said that I mattered. That I mattered. That I counted. Suddenly I felt needed and I knew I had to keep living to be that person who mattered."

So simple. But our kids have to hear it from us or from ANYONE who helps them believe it. You probably say it often to people who matter to you? Or you think you say it, at least in so many words, or you don't have to say it because they already know it, right? That you think so, right? That they matter to you and to the world?

If you have the slightest hesitation about whether you have said this to your child, specifically, straight out, don't wait for a special occasion. Go say it to him or her right now. Call 'em on the phone or go to their room. Make it completely out of context so they know you're thinking of them in a special way without them having to do anything to earn it. They don't have to earn it because your love and believe in them it is already theirs. This is a conversation your child will remind you about 30 years from now.

Park me in front a group, a classroom, a gymnasium of full teenagers and you can be sure I'm going to say it every time.

Steve Stewart Seminars | 276 N. El Camino Real #184 | Oceanside CA 92058 | 760-298-8146/Direct 760-216-1353/Cell |