Working with Young People

His induction into the NBA Hall of Fame yesterday has brought to mind again Maurice Cheeks’ most perfect assist.

It was a playoff game in 2003, and a young singer sang the wrong words to the National Anthem before the game, and got off track. Her confidence failed, and in spite of the audience’s support, the song was in danger of implosion.

Cheeks was head coach of a competing team. One might think that he had more on his mind than supporting a middle schooler who was suffering a temporary setback. But that was not his attitude.

This brief video is a snapshot of how billions of adults support young people all over the world. The young lady was doing something very difficult, and the adult helped her to complete her action, not by lessening its difficulty, but by providing structure and time, accompanying her so that she could do the difficult task well.

Charles Cole of the London Oratory and The New Liturgical Movement has published this year’s list of Children’s Choirs, in which adults likewise support young people in doing something very difficult, not by lessening the activities’ inherent challenges but by providing the training necessary to help them grow.