by Roger Walk
It is not unusual that we wake up in the morning after a dream or time to contemplate, and make plans to change things in our lives: going more to the gym, eating better, being more tolerant with our family, or changing our life altogether. It is, however, rare that we actually put those plans into action, follow through, and change our actions and behavior in the time to come.
Lamar West, a rather quiet Chesterfield teenager and a senior at L.C. Bird High School is one of those rare people, where a revelation event has actually led to substantial changes in his life and triggered a series of actions over many months that prove that the plan has been put into action.
His plans were to change his own lifestyle and goals away from materialistic and short-lived rewards such as cars, money, or sex, to a more spiritual, social, and long-term oriented way to live his own life. At the same time he made plans to share his “new” thinking with his peers in order to make them aware of their own opportunities to change direction as they grow into adulthood.
West, whose favorite subjects at school are English and History, sat down and wrote a book describing his journey, his new way of thinking, and his goals that he believes are important for other teenagers to consider for their lives as well. As his father Milton West reports, “Lamar did the whole book all by himself. He did not show us what he was writing before it was all finished and done. Once I read the book, he made me very proud.”
West created a publishing company, designed the book cover, and with support by his parents, printed and distributed his 100-page book “Disciple in America” to hundreds of other teenagers and adults. In addition to sharing the book in his immediate Chesterfield environment, it can also be ordered online through Amazon.com.
West sold the first 60 copies of his book in four days. His book project has found the support of his teachers and school principle. Tatjana Prevette, a senior at L.C. Bird High school herself, has bought the book. She says “I like the book because it touches all the issues teenagers are dealing with.”
West reportedly won with one of his assays a Gold Medal Literature award at the 2014 Virginia regional National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) ACT-SO competition. He is invited to Las Vegas for the national competition in July.
Teenager West’s new way of thinking that he shares with other teenagers, is heavily governed by a Christian background, but it talks about values and goals that cater to other religions and those without a religious orientation as well. There have been hundreds of books on religion, racism, education, and government, but this book appears to be one of a kind. The book tackles numerous imperative subjects in today’s society and suggests solutions to many of the issues in our country today through following Christ. The book discusses how Christian values can help to deal with societal issues and to be a balanced and motivated teenager who develops his full potential.
Since the book is written by a teenager and uses the language of that generation, it seems to appeal to other teenagers and gives them an opportunity to think about their own potential, orientation, and goals at a time when they make crucial decisions about who they want to be in our ever changing society in America.