‘Loneliness is toxic’ — speaker tells students how to be the antidote

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Motivational speaker David Flood talks to Tiffin Middle School students Tuesday morning.

A youth motivational speaker tended to an audience of Tiffin Middle School students Tuesday morning, leaving them with three challenges to complete.

David Flood told stories to

sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students how how his family has impacted him. Flood is married with two children, and his son is on the autism spectrum.

“My son is everything I want to be, kind, compassionate and caring,” he said.

Flood told the story of his son coming home from school one day, expressing he was lonely.

“I had a hard time processing this,” he said. “How can someone in a building with 1,500 kids and adults throughout be lonely?”

Flood said while watching a program about drug addiction and abuse, he heard an important message.

“Loneliness is toxic,” he said. “Loneliness leads you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. If my talk helps you to connect to a part of you who has ever felt lonely or to reach out to others who are lonely, then I have done a good job.”

Flood put three challenges to the students: to stop looking at people on the outside, and instead look on the inside; to go to two adults within the school and tell them “thank you;” and to sit with someone during lunch who is sitting alone.

“When you are walking down the hallways and see someone struggling with their locker, you should stop and think back to a time when you were struggling with your locker and stop and help them,” he said in reference to looking at someone with your heart rather than your mind.

Flood also is active in his church, is a hospice volunteer who visits with terminally ill patients and is on the board of K.I.D.S. Plus Inc., a non-profit organization that helps special needs children through sports and other activities. He also participates in activities with The Anti-Bias Consortium for Nassau County Schools and is a member of The Northport-East Northport Drug and Alcohol Task Force.

“Your life is not about you,” he said. “It is about all the people around you, who you touch, impact and influence. It is about the people you love and who love you. You should live like that, selfless.”