Speaking Up And Moving Forward In Life

Nathan Harmon offers encouragement to teens struggling to “fit in.”


Dorothy Moyer and Grace Wesselhoft

“It’s okay, to not be okay, but it’s not okay to stay that way,” says Nathan Harmon to a packed auditorium on Friday. Sept. 10.

Society pressures people to “fit in” with what it feels is “right”–and criticizes them when they don’t. All too often, this pressure can be deadly. September is recognized as National Suicide Prevention Month. Since 1975, organizations and large communities around the world have banded together to support individuals who are in need of reassurance that everything will be okay and to just keep moving forward.

Nathan Harmon is a huge believer of these suicide prevention organizations, and he travels to many schools to speak on the difficult subject. This year, he visited Elkhart High School and shared some insights on the matter. On the stage, he says, “If there is breath in your lungs, there is hope in your heart.”  Much like many individuals going through hard times, Harmon’s speech uses his life as a metaphor to help listeners understand a bigger picture in the life of adolescents.

In this day and age, he says, countless children and young adults are struggling with some of the same problems Harmon went through. His words help guide troubled students down the right path and help them avoid making the mistakes he did when he was their age.

“You can outwork anybody with gifts or talents,” Harmon insists, hoping his listeners will change their lives around by knowing they are meant to do magnificent things–in all of their possible futures. He points out how much people can achieve in life ‘if they are willing to work harder than their faults.”

Everyone has problems, Harmon concludes. But it’s up to them—”and you”—to decide how deep they go, and how hard they impact one’s life. Those are words to live  by.