This week’s Loey Midweek Motivator comes from Lukey The Bird. I was introduced to this by my friend Jenna who is one of the wonderful and inspirational teachers featured in this video (3:13). You may be asking, “Who is Lukey The Bird”? Luke O’Brien is a classroom counselor who provides emotional support for the students at Camelot. In addition to working at the school, he makes hip-hop/rap music under the name Lukey The Bird. In his few years working with the students, Luke has become overwhelmingly inspired by these kids and has felt compelled to tell their story through his music. His song, “Just Kids”, is an attempt to send a message of hope in an otherwise hopeless situation.
“I come from a drastically different world than a lot of my kids and for that reason, I learn just as much from them as they do from me. These kids have so much to offer this world but I fear that their environment’s are going to keep them from living up to their potential. They’re just kids and they deserve love. They deserve a chance just like everyone else. ” -Lukey The Bird
Luke’s message is not only inspirational, but also motivating. It motivates us to take action. So many of us take for granted how fortunate we are, how much we have. It is important to remember there are so many out there who are without. And we can help! Through volunteering, donation, or saying something kind to a stranger on the street.
This weekend I took my boyfriend’s kids to play at the park. A few different families were at the playground. A couple following their daughter up the slide. A group of foster parents spinning a gaggle of smiling kids on the carousel. A single father pushing his infant and toddler on the swings. We met a young boy named Malik (pronounced Ma-Leek, I’m not sure how he spells it). Malik, I found out, was eight years old and was there with his mother who was sitting on a bench across from me. I saw she had a teardrop tattoo below her left eye, which I’ve learned can have several meanings, none which are all too positive. Malik was barefoot, without a shirt and wore the biggest smile across his face as we ran around jumping from one bench to another. He asked my boyfriend’s son, who is six years old, if he could ride his bike. He shrugged, “Yeah, I guess”.
Malik rode that bike around the entire playground, doing tricks, waving at us as he rode by. His mom yelled after him telling him he’s not allowed to touch other people’s things. I assured her it was okay, that we were letting him borrow it. She just nodded and looked away. She seemed tired. He came back and returned the bike to my boyfriend’s six year old and began playing with his other son. He chased the toddler around the jungle gym, made funny faces to make him laugh and play-wrestled with him in the grass. Once, when the toddler jumped and hurt his foot, Malik hurried to his side to make sure he was okay. The boy was a ray of sunshine. So happy and full of life, emitting an infectious positive energy. And before we left, my boyfriend’s six year old told him, “Next time, don’t forget your bike”.
Of course, he doesn’t understand that maybe Malik doesn’t have a bike to bring. Or maybe he does! I don’t know either. But for children, those are teaching moments. Moments to teach them that not everyone leads the same life they do and we have to treat everyone with compassion and open hearts. As the saying goes, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle”. The earlier we instill this character in children, the better off our society will be. Because it’s understandable for kid’s not to know better. But, in my opinion, it’s unacceptable for adults not to. And I’ve encountered too many adults that seem to forget there are other people on this planet who don’t have it so easy. On the ride home I let the six year old know how generous it was for him to let Malik borrow his bike, because maybe he doesn’t have one of his own. He opened his eyes wide and nodded his head, as if to say, “Oh, I never thought of that”.
We all have the means to help. If you don’t have money, give goods. If you don’t have goods, give time. If you don’t have time, give kind words. Kind words breed compassion and understanding. They spread and infect the world with a better perspective. The words in this song by Lukey The Bird reassure me that there are folks out there who are trying to make a difference and it motivates me to try and do the same.
This music video for the song “Just Kids” is in support of Camelot KAPS, a Philadelphia based emotional support school for special education students with behavioral disorders. Camelot KAPS uses many rewards-based systems in order to develop basic life skills and promote positive behaviors among the student body. Donations will go to purchase those rewards, in addition to supplying many of their students with sneakers, jackets, backpacks, and other essential items that many of them need. Here is the donation link, if you’d like to start spreading the good.