Q. How can I motivate young people in my family to get aboard the “train of hope” during their youth?

A. It would be wonderful (my brain’s opinion) if individuals began identifying who they are innately earlier in life rather than later, obtaining vital information from family members and friends before those individuals are gone, deleting, adding, and rewriting parts of the script that was handed to them at birth. Few do, because when you’re young is seems as if there is a very long space of time between birth and death. In reality, it goes by quickly.

You can role-model and encourage them with your story. Realize that it is never too late to do something and that “youth,” as General Douglas MacArthur put it, “is not a time of life but a state of mind…that you are as old as your fear and as young as your hope.”

You can help them realize that hopelessness drains one’s energy and can lead to depression, which is a stressor for the brain. It can even suppress immune system function and increase one’s risk for illness and disease.