At the WhyTry headquarters last Tuesday, Christian Moore stood before an audience of educators, counselors, administrators, correctional officers, and students to introduce a revolutionary formula that will help individuals develop resiliency in life.
With a passion and energy characteristic of the WhyTry founder, Christian began his speech by telling the story of his childhood.
“The best way to describe my childhood is like a kite flying in the air. There were no laws or rules,” he said. Coming from a large blended family, the young Christian often found himself on the streets of an inner city in Maryland until late at night. He would wander these streets with a group of “older kids,” mostly African American young men, who would use him as a hiding place for drugs. Police officers never suspected the “white boy,” and would pat him on the head and give him baseball cards. “That’s what really started WhyTry,” said Christian. “I became aware at a very young age of social injustice in the United States.”
Christian eventually grew up, received a master’s degree, and became a licensed clinical social worker. Working in this field opened Christian’s eyes even more to the many problems that affect youth today. Parental incompetency, unaccommodating school systems, and apathetic corrections workers were a few of the issues he resolved to change in the world over the course of his career.
How did this mission go over? “15 years later, I suck!” yelled Christian from the stage, drawing laughter from the audience. “I didn’t help anybody change anything!” At a certain point, said Christian, he realized that the issues facing youth would likely never disappear. That’s when it occurred to him: What if he could equip youth with the tools necessary to confront those challenges and succeed in life?
“I did something radical. I decided to give the child the tools to overcome Mom and Dad’s incompetencies; the tools to deal with a dysfunctional school system,” he said. “Because when everything turns its back on you, you better know how to bounce back.”
Christian then revealed, for the first time ever, his “four sources of resiliency.” “This is new brand material,” he laughed, explaining that these elements will be included in his upcoming book on resiliency. One of the elements, resource resiliency, means that you access the resources you currently possess and develop the resources you need to be resilient. Christian told the story of a time when he was unemployed and couldn’t afford his meager rent of $300. Knowing that he had a knack for art, he entered a wealthy neighborhood and created watercolor paintings of people’s homes, then sold these to the homeowners for hundreds of dollars a piece.
“What I’m excited about,” said Christian, waving his arms and pacing the stage, “is that it’s 2011 and we have the tools to teach people resiliency… We have seen tens of thousands of kids learn resiliency.”
Stomping his foot, Christian then added, “But the saddest, saddest, saddest thing in the world is that not everyone has access to this. That’s the real injustice… but we’re about to unleash it.”
Contact us to learn more about booking Christian as a keynote speaker.