Teens Meet and Relate; Speaker with Tourette’s Seeks Tolerance

Lindsey Cohen, Associate Editor

It’s amazing how teens can be so different, yet so alike…how teens can relate to one another instantly. It’s amazing how over the course of three days an unspoken bond can be created.

Over 400 teens from Nassau (including three from Wantagh) Suffolk and Westchester came together at the Hudson Resort in the Catskills, December 9-11. This weekend themed “Go Big or Go Home” focused in on the importance of globalization. Through the B’nai B’rith Youth Organization, Jewish teens from all over the globe can find themselves. Other highlights of the weekend include eclectic services conducted by fellow teens and an awe-enthralling guest speaker.

The high school students in attendance were all extremely fortunate to hear Marc Elliot, a 26 year old international tolerance speaker’s heartbreaking story. Though he made it very clear that he wasn’t looking for any sort of sympathy or even acceptance, all he has been searching for is simply tolerance. Marc has Tourette’s; he compares this to “having and itch that he needs to scratch.”

Sometimes “scratching” his itch ends in him saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. He spoke of dating a girl and accidently calling her by the name of a different girl. The humor he inflicted into his story allowed the audience to feel more comfortable. Upon taking questions from the audience, he was asked if he has ever thought to himself “Why me?” He replied saying no. He doesn’t expect everyone to accept him for who he is, but believes that everyone should learn how to tolerate others, no matter what the difference is between them.

Though one may not be sure what he or she is looking for, through BBYO, just as their slogan promises, you will “find yourself here.”