There’s no playbook for living through a pandemic, but children’s book author Cleous “GloWry” Young strongly believes that ideas can still change the world, as they have done for centuries. He became passionately obsessed with the idea of how connected the world is, and concluded that no one is safe unless all people and elements of the world are safe.
That is one of the reasons why after releasing his innovative children’s book, The Airport Adventure, he wasn’t fixated on book sales and numbers.
“I believe that ideas can make people’s lives better and safer, and I want to echo this message across the world, by teaching people how to be safe in a pandemic. With some of these tips set out in the book, people can live with a lower level of risk until we get the virus under control,” the former fourth grade Math teacher, said.
Young sees safety from a different point of view, especially in a time of a global pandemic. Safety is more than airport travelers or community citizens observing the three Ws: Wash or sanitize your hands frequently, Wear a mask, and Watch your distance from others at all times.
“The airport is connected to the entire world, and it takes you from an old place to a new destination, in which we have to go to a new destination in our minds. The pandemic affected the minds of everyone whether rich or poor, black or white. You can’t be safe by yourself, but instead, safe with everyone and every element around you…this pandemic shows how unhealthy the world is, as viruses only thrive in unhealthy environments, a startling reflection of how unsafe we are in the world today,” he reasoned.
Young is a specialist in cultivating activities, presentations, experiments, and dialogues to bring out the best in people. He came up with an innovative idea which he dubbed ‘book-tasting’ events, which afforded him the opportunity to meet people and share his ideas. He paired the Airport Adventure storybook with a magazine, what he called a LiVe Safely Book-A-Zine .
He knew he was on to something when 20 to 30 people showed up for his ‘book-tasting’ events.
“I did book tasting events in three regions in Philadelphia, and the feedback was consistent, it was working. I wanted to make the safety steps in the book a part of people’s lives and the events gave me the chance to show people how they are, how they are unsafe with each other, and how to aviate over those unsafe barriers. This includes plugging in your navigation system, study and understand different obstacles so you can become the best version of yourself,” he said.
Young is the founder and president of The TEB-IT Foundation, a 501 (C) 3 non-profit that specializes in delivering Universal Safety.
He is a specialist when it comes to ‘educing’ his audience, and he wants to bring that expertise to the Jamaican audiences.
“A book can change people’s lives, present knowledge, and if you utilize the book or its concepts, it can take your life to a whole new destination. As a Jamaican, you have to ask yourself : how can you make the ideas in the book applicable to your lives when it comes to safety?” he said.
Young migrated from St. Thomas, Jamaica in 1994, and has spent most of his life in the United States with frequent trips returning to Jamaica to reconnect with his roots. He earned magna cum laude degrees in Computer Technology and Human Services & Psychology, and is the author of several children’s books including The Prophetic Artist, The Mountain of Miracles, Do Your Best, and The Four Fisherwomen.