I don’t know why it struck me so hard, but I was very saddened to see the mug shot of Leif Garrett today on the news. Back in the 70’s when I was just a tweener, I was in love with him, Scott Baio, Matt Dillon, and a whole host of other teeny bopper stars.
How in the world do you go from the first photo to the second?
In the shot of him from the court room, he looked about 60 years old, defeated, ashamed and humiliated. What in his life went so terribly wrong that he descended down the hellhole of drugs?
This story was featured on the news with another local one from Glendale, AZ. They arrested four 13-year old teenage boys for doing methamphetamines in the school bathroom. That just scares me to my core. The one thing I learned from many years of working with teenagers is that they need many loving, engaged and concerned adults in their life. Sometimes they aren’t comfortable talking to their parents since they are in the rebellion stage. But they will listen to others: their parents’ friends, aunts or uncles, coaches or teachers.
I hope Leif and the four Glendale boys get the help they need. I hate to see such promising young lives wasted.
And if you have the opportunity to hang out and share a good word with a teenager – even if you don’t know them – please do. It can make a big difference.