70° F Saturday, April 29, 2017

On the list of things we’re supposed to do in life, “read the obituary of an 18-year-old” should not be on that list. Yet following a tragic accident Saturday, here we are, reading about the astonishing young life of Trevor Searle.

In reading the comments from his friends and classmates, Trevor exemplified what all parents hope their children represent as they grow toward adulthood. By all accounts he had already taken more than a few steps on the road to becoming a community leader.

Through his actions, Trevor did everything he could to make his community a better place. He was an Eagle Scout, a leader in his church community, a friend who knew no limits to friendship, a uniter who never let a fellow student, much less a friend, have a bad day. More than anything, he understood the importance of helping, which led him to help found a nonprofit dedicated to helping those in need in our community: Families for Families.

So how do we go about honoring Trevor and rectifying this tragedy? By living as he did.

Trevor never backed away from trying new things, never missed the opportunity to make a friend and went out of his way to help. So let’s do those things.

No matter how young you are, try something new. Introduce yourself to someone new. Look for ways to help. There are plenty of organizations, both locally and beyond, that need all the help they can get. For starters, what if we all too just $1 and donated it to Trevor’s nonprofit organization? To make a donation in Trevor’s memory, visit www.austinfamiliesforfamilies.org and click on the “Simply Donate” button.

Do one, or all, of those things, and then do one more thing.

The heartbreaking thing about this tragedy is that it proves that mistakes do happen and every choice we make has consequences, and those consequences can be tragic. We can’t go back and undo what happened or remind Trevor to wear a helmet while boarding. But as we want to learn from his life, we can learn from his death. The simple act of wearing a helmet — no matter how young or old you are — when boarding or biking can avert disaster.

In his short 18 years, Trevor taught us many things. We want to follow the great examples he set, but if we don’t learn even the simplest of lessons, we didn’t learn all that we could from him.

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