We are at the NAMI Walks. NAMI is the National Association of Mental Illness. It’s an unbelievable organization that raises money and provides resources for the disease of mental illness. As you know, that’s a big part of what we do. Addiction and mental illness tend to go hand in hand. We’re here supporting NAMI.
We have done a lot of work with NAMI Broward. Sandra Cumper, who is their director down there, has been absolutely amazing for us. She’s really helped us to get the word out about what we do. She has been very gracious and asked us to come and speak a few times at some of their events. We think it’s important to give back, not only to show our appreciation, but to give love to the community. If you want to get love, you have to give it.
Don’t go to networking events saying to yourself, “I wonder what I can get out of this.” Then you’ll get nothing. You have to give, and then you’ll get. You have to get involved. You have to support your community. You have to care about what you do. We’re here this morning, doing this walk with NAMI, showing our support and letting them know that we care.
I read something online yesterday. Eric Bolling was a Fox executive. He was caught up in sexual misconduct and was fired. He had a son who passed away only a few short days after he was terminated. It turned out that this young man, who came from a very privileged, white background, died of a drug overdose.
As I’ve said before, addiction and mental health don’t care what color you are. They don’t care how rich or poor you are or where you came from. They don’t care about your religious background or sexual orientation. These are the things that we seem to harp on in the news. When it comes to addiction and mental illness, it doesn’t matter. You need to understand that this affects everyone. If you think you know someone who might be dealing with this, help them. Let them know there are resources out there.
I lost my dad at the beginning of the year. He’s been a source of inspiration for me. My dad was 81. This was a young man who was in college. Now his father has to bury him. No parent should ever have to lose a child. We spend every week sitting in our office, talking to crying moms who don’t want to lose their children. If you know a family, speak up. Say something so that another parent doesn’t have to bury a child.
There are some things that have become part and parcel of my message. Addiction and mental illness get worse with time. They never get better. They can’t. It’s just the nature of the beast. When you’re dealing with those things, there is only one of three options. The morgue, prison or treatment. This child will end up dead, in prison or someone will get them into treatment. As a parent, guardian, brother, sister, mother or father, you have to make that decision for them. They cannot make the decision to go into treatment. If you don’t get them into treatment, they’re going to go to prison or end up dead. The disease only gets worse with time.
These are my thoughts of the day. We’re enjoying this walk. Give back. Get involved in your community. Spread the word. Show people that you care about them and that you want to make a difference. If you do that, you’ll find that you get it back in spades. You’ll feel really good about what you do. You’ll want to do it over and over again. Then your business will grow, and you can help more people. Have a good week. Spread love.