Monday, November 14, 2016

Social Power

by Russ Becker

Do you ever feel like your child just isn’t listening to you? Do you ever feel as if anything you say goes right over his or her head when they seemingly cling to every word from a friend or peer? Well if you happened to say yes, congratulations you now have something in common with every parent who has ever walked the face of the Earth. Teenagers appear hardwired to ignore every piece of meticulously crafted wisdom we as adults happen to pass on, instead focusing their attention on those they anoint as leaders in their own social circle. While this may be a never ending frustration at the hands of parents it certainly opens up the door for those designated social trendsetters to impart a great deal of positive leadership and example to our community as a whole. Last weekend, myself and a group of students took part in the Norfolk County peer leadership conference to better understand the impact these leaders have, and to how to use that social power to positively influence Medfield at large. Workshops included anything from discussing positive choices surrounding drugs and alcohol to leading a social movement against texting and driving. No matter the topic it was clear that these peer leaders have a great deal of opportunity to help our student body and the exciting piece was just how willing these students are for being an advocate of change. This conference made it clear that everyone has the opportunity to be a leader to someone else in their school and the more people who are willing to use that leadership constructively, the more capacity for change and social awareness our community will have.

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