A healthy state of mind has the power to alter any situation and change one’s life.
So says Brian Barton, the former Major League baseball player and outfielder for the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs. In 2012, Barton published his book, “Mindset: Awareness and Action.” The Los Angeles native had seen a lot during the course of his life and wanted to encourage people to make the most of their lives. Barton will speak Friday evening at the annual fundraiser for The Jude House, a Charles County-based addiction treatment center that sees patients from across the region.
Friday will not mark Barton’s first time working with The Jude House. He previously has spoken at one of their group sessions.
“I know that when you’re dealing with substance abuse ... it’s important to send a message of empowerment,” Barton said. “We have to be a vessel to help build people up.”
Barton said he plans to address “the importance of having a strong foundation” when he speaks Friday. Barton used hard hats as a metaphor, saying they’re worn on construction sites by people who are both building and destroying, and one must be mindful of the person wearing the hat.
“What’s important is we surround ourselves with those builders and not destroyers,” Barton said. “It’s the perspective you have when faced with these problems. I’m looking to send the message of a different way to see things. Instead of falling into the routine of life, you need to build one. It’s very easy to get sucked in. ... Sometimes you have to go against the current to actualize your dreams.”
Jude House board President Debbie Prohaska said Barton had approached her about speaking to the group at the house. After that talk, Prohaska said she knew they had to bring Barton back to speak again.
“It was so emotional, and the message he sent was so powerful,” Prohaska said. “He can reach these people, we feel. They can be the best. They just have to take the time to be the best. ... This is a steppingstone for them. [It’s about] teaching them that they have to make the right choices, and when they end their 120 days with us and get back in the world, the drug dealers, the liquor stores will all still be there. Nothing has changed there. [Barton] is a great speaker with a great story to share.”
Prohaska said this is the group’s annual fundraiser, and they are hoping to raise money to enhance the facility’s growing needs.
If you go
The Jude House will hold its annual fundraiser 7-10 p.m. Feb. 28 at the Jaycees center in Waldorf. Blue Crabs baseball player Brian Barton will speak. Tickets are $30. Call 301-932-0700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.