Challenge Posed: Bring Out Best in Others
Rachel's Challenge will be presented in Westborough today for the second straight day.
Several dozen people left the Westborough High School auditorium Thursday night with a "homework assignment."
Over the next three days, they should go to "the people that mean the most to you in your life," Kristi Krings said.
"Just tell them how much you love them, how much you care about them, and how much they mean to you," Krings said.
"I can guarantee you that they will never forget that conversation. And some day, if they're not around, you will be so glad you did it."
Thursday night's Rachel's Challenge presentation for parents of students in grades six through 12, some accompanied by their children, and community members was part of two days of such programs here.
Rachel’s Challenge was inspired by Rachel Scott, 17, “the first student killed at Columbine High School in 1999. Rachel left a legacy of reaching out to those who were different, who were picked on by others, or who were new at her school,” according to the program’s website.
Westborough School Superintendent Marianne O'Connor noted Thursday night that an anonymous donor funded bringing Rachel's Challenge here.
"If you are here in our audience, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, as do our students and our faculty," O'Connor said.
Bringing Rachel's Challenge here is "an opportunity that we've wanted for so long," she said.
"It's powerful. It's more than powerful," O'Connor said.
Over about an hour, Krings showed and discussed photos and video clips of Rachel Scott, her family and the Columbine shooting.
She said the Scott family has "taught me so much about the power of forgiveness."
The homework assignment tied into the last of the five parts of "Rachel's Challenge," which Krings said is to "start your own chain reaction."
The first challenge is to not prejudge others.
"I have prejudged people the first time I've met them," she said.
"I've judged them before I've gotten to know somebody."
Krings said that "you have the power to bring out the best in other people, simply by looking for it."
The second challenge is to "dream big," she said.
"We never out-grow this. Write those dreams down and turn them into goals. Because something amazing happens when we put pen to paper."
The third challenge is to "choose positive influences," Krings said.
"I know that the choices that you and I make today will absolutely determine who we'll become tomorrow," she said.
The fourth challenge is to "speak with kindness and not cruelty," Krings said.
Rachel Scott was "a normal teenager who treated people the way she wanted to be treated," Krings said.