Supporting children’s emotional intelligence is critical in helping them develop the skills they need to navigate the world as young adults. One activist recently went viral for teaching young boys how to regulate their emotions.
Devine Carama of Lexington, Kentucky shared a video to his TikTok account, showing young boys the importance of having emotional intelligence and the consequences they face when there is no safe space to talk about their feelings or what they’re going through.
In the clip, Carama holds a glass of water and instructs the group to tell him when to stop pouring into the empty cup. As he fills the cup, the boys start shouting for him to stop as the cup is about to overflow with water.
As Carma continues pouring into the cup, the water begins to overflow, and he stops filling it. He then shared a powerful demonstration of what happens when someone keeps their feelings bottled up.
“This right here represents us,” Carama said in the clip as he pointed to the cup of water. “What happens is we take in everything we experience throughout the day, but because us, as young men, we keep it in.”
He continued: “Listen fellas, trying to be tough, we don’t let it out, we don’t talk about it, we keep it in.”
When asked what happens when keeping your feelings inside, the young boys said, “You overflow,” to which Carama said that you also “make a mess.”
Carama encouraged the boys to find positive outlets to discuss their feelings and emotions.
“As young men, we have to find safe places so we can talk about what we are going through and what we are feeling,” Carama said.
When Carama isn’t teaching life lessons to children or making new music, he’s advocating on issues that primarily affect Black communities. He’s also the director of One Lexington, an organization that focuses on violent crime in the city.
In October, Carama spoke out regarding the increase in gun violence in the downtown Lexington area. One Lexington and city leaders have proposed an initiative called “Downtown Peacekeepers” to reduce violence in the community.
“How can we continue those conversations? Build stronger relationships? Stop potential conflict? But then also, you know, try to encourage them to leave downtown — and that this is not the place for you,” Carama told WLEX-TV at the time.