© Dave Mathieson - Cumberland News Now
People often deal with a lot of unnecessary nonsense as they make their journey through life, and 16-year-old Connor Smith hopes the Creative Voices event, scheduled for June 21 at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill, will open peoples eyes to what is nonsense and what is necessary to make the world a better place for everybody. Smith is also a trainer with the Cumberland County Blues hockey team.
SPRINGHILL – Upon entering life people aren’t handed a guidebook on what awaits them on their journey.
“People at a young age, such as myself, are just starting to learn about some of the negative things we confront while growing up,” said Connor Smith, a Grade 11 student a Springhill High School. “If there was more understanding about things such as drugs or bullying we could learn about these things before suffering the consequences.”
Smith is planning a motivational speaking event called Creative Voices, which will be held June 21, at the Dr. Carson & Marion Murray Community Centre in Springhill.
“We’re going to take people who have been victims of drug abuse and alcohol abuse, racism, deafness, blindness and, one of the main ones, especially right now, bullying,” said the 16-year-old. “We’re going to do it in one day. We’re looking at having anywhere from 10 to 20 speakers, along with musical acts.”
Young people often believe they are invincible and immune to the consequences of bad choices.
“The reason we’re doing it is because you always hear people say, ‘oh, that would never happen to me,’ or, ‘that doesn’t happen around here,’” said Smith. “What we want is to show people that it can happen to you, no matter who you are or how successful you are in life.”
Smith started brainstorming about the event about eight months ago, and recently started calling people to be guest speakers at the event.
“We have a few people confirmed from Springhill, and we’ll get people from other parts of Canada and from the States.”
Smith said his motivation to initiate the event came from a ‘We Day’ meeting he attended in Halifax.
“We Day in Halifax was the inspiration, which is part of the Free the Children organization. They try to erase child labour overseas and we want to fight against things locally.”
Smith holds Nelson Mandela up as an inspiration.
“Kids want to do different things. Some want to be a singer, some want to be an athlete and some want to do other things,” he said. “People are inspired by different things, and I was inspired by Nelson Mandela.”
Smith thinks people should be celebrated for their differences, instead of being judged negatively, bullied or cast out for their differences.
“Recently I read an article about people in Antigonish who were denied a hotel room because they were African Canadian,” said Smith. “Sometimes it feels like we’re living in the 1950’s.”
Young people can be very clique-ish, and Smith says cliques can be a way for young people to adapt to the world but says cliques can also close minds.
He hopes the Creative Minds event will open people up, people of all ages, to a new perspective.
“Use Nelson Mandela for example. He wanted people to be treated equally,” said Smith. “And we hope this event will change people’s outlook on things. If we can do that, then it’s worth it.”