I recently went to a Bob Seger concert where a 14-year-old boy sat next to me. I couldn’t help but engage in conversation with him. I felt a pull in my heart to acknowledge him and let him know he mattered. Partly because of the profession I am in, partly because kids are the coolest little beings ever, and partly because kiddos need a stranger to let them know they matter. He was probably thinking, “Why is this old betty talking to me,” but if he was, he didn’t let that stop him from responding. He told me his age, he talked about school, and he let me know he was at the concert with his dad.
Through the whole concert, he didn’t miss a beat. He was singing his heart out to every Bob Seger song. My mind was blown! I couldn’t help but reflect on that moment. I saw a father and son soaking up this moment and making the best father-son memory. I thought, “Man Bob, you are good.” Your music has the power to bring families of all ages together.
At one point during the concert, I leaned over and told him, “Do you know how cool it is that you got to see Bob Seger at his last concert?” I made reference to how he gets to go to school the next day and tell his friends all about how he got to rock out with Bob. A little while later, he taps my arm and says with the biggest smile, “I don’t have to go to school tomorrow because I live in Spokane.” This kid was on cloud nine. My heart was melting because when you work with a population like I do, it's a beautiful sight to see a young boy having the time of his life with his dad. When the concert was over, I gave that little man knuckles and said, “Go do big things, buddy!”
When you work with an offender population, you start to see life through a different set of eyes. I work with adult males whose inner child is bruised and broken — little boys who never stood a chance at success. I have no idea what that fella's life looks like. It could be perfect, but in case he is struggling, I hope me taking a few minutes out of my life to talk with him made a difference for him.
So to the young man at the Bob Seger concert, this message is for you. Do big things, buddy! Don’t let this world crush your soul. Never let that old time rock and roll leave your heart. This world can be harsh, but you’ll always have the memory of jamming out with your dad at the Bob Seger concert, and no one can take that away from you.