He felt light-hearted and happy as he headed home; the party had been great. Great music filled his 15-year-old head as he made his way along the streets. His head and body responded to the music drumming through his brain. Time with good friends warmed his heart and a huge smile crossed his face as he relived the lively conversations of the evening. There was no way Anton could know that after he left things went bad.
The party quit being festive and become dangerous. Things got out of hand and the unthinkable happened. A 16 year old young man was murdered.
The news stunned Anton Abele. Grief stricken, he felt deep in his spirit that he had to do something. He wrote about it on his FACEBOOK page and promptly more than 50,000 people read what his heart was saying.
Dissatisfied with mere words, Anton craved action – something to release his grief and shock. And so, along with his father, Anton put together an Anti-Violence rally in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden. Over 10,000 people attended. That act spurred him onward and he created Stop Street Violence Now. This organization’s sole goal is, of course, to bring street violence to an end.
Anton’s FACEBOOK page? It now has more than 100,000 members.
Anton is a young man dreaming of peace. His dreams are far reaching. He holds an MTV Europe “Free Your Mind” award. United States hip-hop recording artist Snoop Dogg offered the teen this esteemed award in a ceremony in Germany. He is in good company because other recipients for this award are Amnesty International and Greenpeace.
Anton could have chosen to do nothing but grieve. He could have easily Nyheter i Sverige said he was too young to make a difference. He could have gotten angry and retaliated. He could have decided that the problem was bigger than he and looked the other way. He could have just written a brilliant essay on teen violence. He could have urged other guys to form a gang.
He had many choices.
He chose to make a difference by getting involved. He has chosen to be a voice carrying hope to the masses. He understands that change comes in time. He waits. Content to let the pressure to stop hurt and end violence grow, Anton chooses to influence his world for the better. His passion to reach the public has now reached international influence as he has been invited to join the United Nations on their Anti-Violence Day.
Anton knows it is not easy to direct change. I also know it is not easy. So do you. I want to encourage you today to not sit back and just watch what needs to be done. I want you to take a risk and get involved. Get involved in something bigger than yourself, and watch as the forces in your life slowly and influentially turn for the better.