The Shield

Speaking From The Heart

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Speaking From The Heart

Owen Conway, Editor-in-Chief

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In an age where negativity can be as prominent as ever due to technology, social media, and cyber bullying, the importance of positivity cannot be understated. On Thursday, April 19th, Floral Park Memorial hosted Marc Mero, a former professional wrestler for the WWE turned motivational speaker. Mero tours high schools all over the world to preach his message of choosing happiness by making good life choices. The acronym “B.A.D.D.” was  projected onto the screen throughout his presentation. It is Mero’s acronym for “Be Against Destructive Decisions.”

Mero gave two presentations, each for about an hour. The first was for grades 7-9 and the second for grades 10-12. It was held in the school’s new auditorium. Students, teachers and administrators all worked nicely to make the assembly run as smoothly as possible.

Rather than delivering a standard happy-go-lucky speech, Mero shared his life story, a relatively saddening tale. Mero grew up poor in Buffalo, NY. In school he had to deal with bullying and his parents’ divorce, which prompted him to take action against all the negativity around him. At ten years of age, Mero took a notebook and began to write all of his goals and dreams in it, some of which were buying a speedboat, a black Cadillac, and a house for his mother. Mero has actually kept this journal throughout his life, and presented it to the FPM students.

During high school, Mero was a very active and talented athlete, playing both football and hockey. His real passion, however, was boxing. Mero honed his skills in the sweet science and won four New York State boxing championships. He even earned a spot on the USA’s national boxing team. Mero’s life seemed like it was about to change for the better, until a terrible accident a few weeks before his first professional boxing match. Mero had a shattered nose and was sidelined for a year. However, one year morphed into ten as Mero developed addiction problems and shoved his family away.

It was not until he was 31 years old that Mero started to get back on track. He got back into combat sports, but this time with the World Wrestling Federation (now known as the WWE). Mero became a multi-millionaire, and made the dreams from his old journal a reality. However, more poor choices led Mero back to his problems with drugs and drinking, and he lost everything he had.

After all this and multiple family tragedies, Mero had a revelation about the importance of life and how our decisions can make or break our lives. Now Marc Mero is a renowned motivational speaker who proclaims himself to be the happiest person on the planet, with a new life goal of imparting good decision-making skills to kids all over the world so that they can be the happiest, best versions of themselves.

Student reaction was quite positive to his talk. While many were saddened to hear about the tragedies in his life, they were appreciative of his desire to make a difference for young people. If one student at Floral Park Memorial is impacted by his presentation – whether it is to avoid drugs, stop bullying or to reach out for help – then it was well worth every minute of listening to him. More than likely, it will be far more than one student who was impacted by Marc Mero.

Owen Conway, Editor-In-Chief

Senior Owen Conway is this year's Editor-In-Chief for The Shield. Owen's love of writing and desire to improve his skills compelled him to join The Shield...

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