Self-made millionaire Eugene Land was asked to address a sixth-grade class in an East Harlem elementary school. On the designated morning he walked into an auditorium filled with 59 sixth-graders. What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school? The more immediate problem was how to get these children even to look at him. Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart. The content of his speech was simple “Stay in school,” he challenged, “and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.” At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time, they had hope. One student later said, “I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.” Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school, an unprecedented number.
Maybe today more than ever we need hope, the endless media cycle and social media feeds seem to supply us with a never-ending diet of discouraging news, however, the gospel has the power to change our perspective of the world around us, and most importantly the power of our faith to change this world.