In this world of trying times, we all face so many obstacles that it sometimes feels like we will be a permanent rider on the scariest roller coaster ever created.

Think about what it’s like as an adult to experience confusion, loneliness and heartache. Now put your mind on our children. There are so many lost and abandoned children in our society. As adults, we think providing for our children financially is enough and that giving our sons and daughters material things equips them with the tools they need to live successfully.

But sometimes, we are wrong.

I once knew a young man who was referred to as a “nightmare” by his friends. But I couldn’t find it within me to call him by that name. In talking to Alexander, I came to understand the importance of such a title. He told me he had given himself that nickname. He felt it was adequate because it mirrored the way he felt about himself and his behavior. He didn’t feel like an Alex, someone who was loved and cared for, appreciated and included in the daily activities of those he loved.

Alex said he needed love so badly that it drove him to hate, to hurt and to bring hurt upon himself. Like Alexander, many children feel this way. Material things are nice and we all love getting the new and improved everything. But material merchandise should not be used as a pacifier to take the place of the emotional needs of our children.

I have taken a liking to this young man and am able to see him as he really is — a talented computer genius who can manipulate software to do as he pleases, a musician who drops beats and makes music that makes you close your eyes and envision the success he will soon encounter.

There is no doubt that with the right support system, Alex will succeed by leaps and bounds. He is one of the lucky ones, and though he has suffered greatly in the area of love and security, he has been able to find a reason to survive.

Alexander is determined to find his way. He has his heart set on escaping the stereotypes that were put on him and others like him. My wish is that this kind of light bulb would come on in the minds of adults who don’t see the need to tend to their children. I wish they could understand that you cannot mold a child into an effective adult by buying them everything they want to replace the love and attention they really need.

Alex could have set his mind to be the next menace to society, terrorizing neighborhoods and wreaking havoc. He could have chosen to simply believe the things that were said about him. Devastation could have easily claimed him. With his mindset of hate, loneliness and distrust, he could have chosen to drop out of the equation and allow drugs and alcohol rule the remainder of his days.

However, he has not. My dear friend Alexander put up his dukes and decided to fight for the life that God gave him. He will come out on top, a winner in the game of life.

If we could somehow pass this kind of positive mindset to other teens, pre-teens and lost adults, we might save our society from the misery that comes when a person lacks love.

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