Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

March 19, 2013

Reality is only as deep as our passions

By Lindsay Eckert
Tribune lifestyle editor

Kokomo — When I was in seventh grade the “Real World” was a reality show I was forbidden to watch. The behaviors flaunted were borderline unfit for TV, let alone a 12-year-old’s eyes. However, that’s what older cousins were for, I suppose, because my remote somehow found its way to MTV a time or two and lessons in how to not live your life ensued. But, today Howard County 7th graders are getting a multifaceted look into life in the “Real World”   — and not the kind that encompasses Jell-O wrestling and TV-censored bleeps interrupting 80 percent of a sentence.  

Twelve and 13 year olds will be spending the day at Indiana University Kokomo and learning a lesson or two in how to match their characteristics with a career in the “Real World” that is their futures.

The event, hosted by Partners in Education and IUK, is designed to get the wheels of young minds moving towards careers in the world of reality, the kind that’s not plaguing our TV screens. The day is all about initiating ideas in teens and helping them hone in on careers that fit their skills, interests and passions. The day highlights the heart of Howard County careers ranging from marketing and law to computer science and journalism in a day-in-the-life format to build a foundation for their futures.

I’m thrilled help illustrate the picture of a workday in my chosen field of journalism.

However, I’m most thrilled the greatest part of “Real World” is students’ opportunities to enhance their immediate worlds with information about what their future worlds could include, what they could do and what they could be. We’re often reminded our souls aren’t defined by what we create at our desks, but I believe if you find a career true to your core you’re driven to create in a way that’s bigger than yourself; ultimately bettering yourself in the process. As the worst versions of people fill our TV screens, our Twitter and Facebook feeds and,sometimes, even our inboxes we’re reminded just how important a day such as “Real World” is to the lives who carry the world’s future in their backpacks. Fulfillment breeds pride and pride lends a hand to developing passion. Passion is a powerful weapon against the negativity and cruel behavior, which often stems from half-empty hearts still searching for that passion to fuel fulfillment. People without passion and without pride can slip into the belief of “misery loves company” and further contribute to the hate wagon we too often see as a bulldozing vehicle for bullies at any age.

Although “Real World” is helping kids craft their skills and interests into careers, it’s also helping our community craft positive young people into inspiring and fulfilled adults. As important as a career is to their livelihoods; passion in their careers is crucial to making our society one that supports and encourages, not tears down and destructs.  

Our future is being built in the halls of middle schools as we speak, the screenwriters who write the worlds we dream to live in are writing school essays. However, it’s our job to help inspire all students find a career that makes the world they dream to live in their “Real World.”

The value of yourself is just as necessary as the monetary value that pays your rent. The sooner students start learning self worth, the sooner we can eliminate characters without character from our TV screens and remold the world with compassion and kindness. That’s the “Real World” our future generations are capable of building. I hope to help build a house today where half-full glasses are served tomorrow.

[friday] editor/ Strive for a better “Real World”