Instead of Brent enjoying life today, his parents, Linell and Robert, and his brother, Grant, are working tirelessly to make our society aware of the drugs and alcohol addiction disease that took Brent’s life away. That care because the drugs and alcohol that infect young and old, rich and poor seem here to stay, and there is no cure in sight.
Peer pressure is a modern, politically correct, term for what is often the lack of the right parental and school guidance. Today, our society’s ethos has tied the hands of the king and the queen of the household kingdom, the mother and father of today, to be able to invoke the right way to raise children.
The two-parent working households, that suffer from lack of time and overwhelming life circumstances, are depriving many children the required upbringing. The way of the past of the school system has been lost forever too. The school, where kids are to learn manners, respect, good citizenship and how to have fun has been lost to a society that is scrambling for answers.
Discipline Is Out Of Favor
Discipline is not in vogue, so parents and schools fail their job and thus fail the children.
In Chicago, they teach children of kindergarten age about sex: Chicago public schools may start sex ed in kindergarten – and here I thought that it was the age they teach children to color in and begin reading and writing!
Succumbing to peer pressure also points at a weak character and the lack of self-responsibility.
No wonder that at a very young age, youths become involved in consuming drugs, alcohol, mischief and sex. When do they experience real childhood and innocence? Do they ever now?
Do we say where are the good old days which we long for, or do we look back and say we can do better than those days.
Losing A Son
After the Shapiro family lost their young son, Brent, to drugs and alcohol, they had two options, to sit back and look at what went wrong, or go fix the wrong; they chose the latter. The Shapiro’s turned their tragedy into a cause; they have founded the Brent Shapiro Foundation that is in the business of alcohol and drug prevention. Prevention is the key for any illness and that includes the drug and alcohol disease.
As in the past eight years, since Brent lost his life, in October 2005, this month the Brent Shapiro Foundation held its annual fundraising gala, at the magnificent estate of the Mei Sze and Jeff Greene. The list of those who support the Brent Shapiro Foundation’s efforts is endless and too long to mention. Let the list only grow longer and thus the support will expand.
The guests, over 1000 in number, were incredibly impressive, made of the beautiful people of California and beyond, the rich, the famous, the actors and the rest of us. The glitz and glamour, the music, the fashion show, the great food, the auction – all hide the pain.
Foundation Supports Those Who Lose Their Way
Each year, the Brent Shapiro Foundation reminds us that our society loses its innocence way too early. That to recover and stay sober takes insistence and responsibility for oneself and for one’s family and peers. The focus is on awareness, teaching children about addiction and how to avoid it. To encourage soberness, each year the Foundation awards people who achieve permanent sobriety and support these efforts. This year the Spirit of Recovery award was given to actor Harry Hamlin and the Spirit of Support ward was given to the actor Ted Danson.
To make sure the Holocaust will never be forgotten, we talk and write about it, we make movies and we build museums. We have to make sure it does not come back and that is the goal of the people behind the Brent Shapiro Foundation; that you talk about drug and alcohol addiction and when you recover, you recover for good, that the disease does not come back to haunt you.
More so, the Foundation has created and will create programs that will prevent you catching the drugs and alcohol disease. Among those programs, the Foundation has recently formed a partnership with Boyle Heights neighborhood in Los Angeles, where kids are disfranchised, assisting in many ways that drugs are not part of their lives
Drug and alcohol addiction is an epidemic to which we are losing a society. From the attendance at the impressive gala, one can assume that behind each door there is a drug problem. I sincerely hope that is not at all the case.
May the Brent Shapiro Foundation go from strength to strength, to weaken the unfortunate of so many to end up becoming drugs and alcohol addicts.