Mark Mero had it all; money, fame and fortune.
But because of his lifestyle, the friends he surrounded himself with and the choices he made with drugs and alcohol, his life was a house of cards waiting to fall.
And it did. But even so, Mero continues to dream big, travelling across North America, spreading a message – that choices are everything in life. A recent stop took him to Bishop Lloyd Middle School to talk to the kids about the power of choices.
“When you really think about it, we have the opportunity to change a student’s life,” said Mero, of himself and his crew, Mero’s Heroes, who accompany Mero on his talks with intermittent dances and comedy. “I’m hoping that there will be students here whose lives will be forever changed.”
It’s the experience with Mero’s own bad decisions Mero teaches kids to dream big that drives him to inspire children with his own story. Even at a young age, Mero began experiencing tragic events that even a kid can relate to, from the divorce of his parents to his relationships with all the wrong people.
“We become who we surround ourselves with, so I share my story and help these kids go from some of the tragedies of their lives to a triumph of a life,” he said.
Mero knows all about tragedy. When his career in the WWE ended and his money was soaked up by drugs and alcohol, Mero also began to lose friends to the same lifestyle he was involved in. His friends, a list of 31 of them in fact, all died from the poor lifestyles they led. A lifestyle that he himself indulged in for a long time before realizing that his choices made the difference and that he could inspire others with the same philosophy. It’s through his power with words that this becomes accomplished.
“Words can either build you up or tear you down, and we see that so much with these young kids today, how they use words in such a negative way to hurt people,” said Mero. “Names are some of the most hurtful things.”
He went on to say that even as adults, people sometimes still remember the names that hurt them when they were children. With that, he encouraged the kids at Bishop Lloyd to recognize the power of words and to use them for encouragement rather than hurt.
With his performance, Mero covered topics ranging from anti-bullying, suicide prevention, and substance abuse to goal setting. With all the negativity that he has experienced in his life, Mero still made good on his dreams and goals, which he wrote down in a book when he was young and shared with the students.
“On the brighter side, setting goals, telling kids to take action toward their goals, being accountable to their dreams,” said Mero, of the intention with his talks. By the end of his performance, kids learned to love their families, take care of their friends, make good choices and always dream big.