Richful Thinking Guestbook

Your comments let me know that what I do makes a difference.  Please feel free to read what has already been said and scroll down to the bottom of the page to leave your own comment. Thanks so much, Rich!


17 Responses to “Richful Thinking Guestbook”


  • Hi there,

    I was at your assembly today and what an assembly it was. Your riveting story was told with the utmost passion and by the way you came across to all those kids, I can tell that you are passionate about helping kids not go down that deep and dark road. Please, whatever you do, never stop doing what you are doing because it is people like you who make a difference in this world…


  • The speech you gave at my daughters school yesterday made a very big impact on her and some of her friends. She can home and it was all she talked about. She told me your story brought tears to her eyes. I think all young kids need to hear a speech like this because sheltering them from a speech like this because someone thinks they are too young is wrong because this is the age when peer pressure is big and they could start using. I have 2 great kids and they don’t fall under peer pressure. I am a very lucky mom. Thank you for all you do to educate our children on the dangers of drugs and alcohol and please keep up the great work you do because if you save just one child from thinking of doing drugs that’s huge.


  • Hi Rich, I wanted you to know, you recently spoke at my daughter’s school (Bridgewater Middle School) and had an incredible, positive impact on her and several of her friends. Although there is nothing “pretty” about substance abuse you were obviously able to get your message across in a way that not only inspired them but moved them to tears….a moment I, as a mother, can only hope will stay with them when they are faced (as I am sure they will be) with making decisions regarding alcohol and drugs. I admire your passion for wanting these kids to see the “reality” of substance abuse and hope you continue your journey in touching the lives of these children in such a positive way! Thank you again!


  • You have definitely made an impact on my daughters life after your presentation at Holbrook Jr/Sr High. She told me it also impacted her friends. She was brought to tears by your story. You are a true inspiration and our community is lucky to have someone like you that cares enough to share your life experiences. Also it is the way you do it that captivates them and keeps them listening in a world that has become cluttered with distractions of all types. You are a good man Rich. I thank you. My wife thanks you. Keep up the great work. I hope more schools can benefit from your presentations. I am proud to call you my friend.


  • Rich,

    You posted something on Facebook of how you were speaking to the students of a school in East Bridgewater Ma. about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and I felt as though I needed to partake in a chance to hear your story. I came to your assembly at East Bridgewater Junior/ Senior High School in January of this year and I am so glad I did. It was an amazing and powerful story about addiction and how the choices and decisions you made as a child, had such an negative impact on your life for so many years. As I sat and listened to you speak with enthusiasm to the students and faculty of the school, I took a look around the auditorium, which seemed to be at its capacity, and was mesmerized as to how your story captivated the students attention. (I even saw some of the students consoling one another with tears streaming down their innocent faces. ) It seemed as though they were chomping at the bit to hear your very next word. You involved them, you grabbed their attention, and I know it in my heart, you helped them get a better understanding on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. I am so glad I made that trip from Rhode Island to come and see you and listen to your story, because addiction is something that kids need to be educated on and I think your story is an eye opening experience. I feel like that in ever family, there is someone who has battled, or may still be battling some type of addiction, whether it is alcohol or drugs.

    Please keep helping the students of our schools become educated on the dangers of drugs and alcohol. I know that anyone can teach a class on it but when it comes from a person,such as yourself, who has experienced it, it is far more credible and real…Thanks again, Rich


  • It is with a tremendous amount of respect and admiration that I write this letter of reference for Rich Barnes.

    On December 12, 2013 I had an opportunity to listen to a presentation that was being given at my son’s High School in East Bridgewater. The topic of the presentation was about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. I am a former classmate of Mr. Rich Barnes. I had heard of his struggles with drugs and alcohol over the years. I knew that he had won the battle against the addiction they held for him. But, I had no idea of the journey he followed to battle his addiction.

    I sat in the audience filled with 7th and 8th graders. One who was my own son. I had not seen Rich since High school and was looking forward to listening to him speak. He always was such an all around nice guy in high school, and I never knew he was struggling so. I was completely overwhelmed with emotion by Rich’s journey. Rich spoke with such emotion and passion about his own personal story from taking his first sip of alcohol at age 10 to when he began his recovery eight years ago. The audortium was completely silent as he spoke. Each one of the students were sitting and listening so attentively to Mr. Barnes’s story. Looking around you could see the student’s faces; they were in awe of Rich’s words.

    I sat in my chair thinking to myself, “wow I must have been so naive to this when we were in school.” I had absolutely no idea of his battles, and it broke my heart to hear them. After Rich spoke he opened the audience up to questions. This is when I realized what an impact he was making. Mr. Barnes allowed the students to ask any and all questions or concerns they had. No topic was thrown out. Rich answered all questions truthfully and heartfelt.

    At the end of Rich’s presentation he told the audience that he hoped to help just one person make better decisions. But, I can tell you he has changed more than just one students mind to help them stop and think before they make the wrong decision. I was honored to have my son meet Mr. Barnes that day. When my son returned home from school that day I asked him what he took away from the presentation. He told me “I think you friend is a very brave guy for telling us all his faults and mistakes. I am glad that he is okay now.” He went on to say that “I thought it was big of him to admit how selfish drugs and alcohol can make someone.”

    My husband and I have a very open relationship with our children. But, this presentation opened up the conversation even more to have with our child. It has made us as parents more aware of the dangers of drugs and alcohol in our children’s life. Most importantly, Mr. Barnes’s journey has made a positive impact on my son. My son has come away with a strong sense that he holds his future in his hands and the decisions he makes are very powerful.

    My hope is that Mr. Rich Barnes will continue to share his journey with other students. He is an asset to any school system and will provide them with the truth about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Mr. Barnes speaks from the heart and is passionate about making change, so that no one has to travel the painful road that he did. I am very proud to be his friend!


  • Hi Rich,

    I came here because you took the time to write a comment on someone’s FB page. They were stating that they were done with drinking and wanted to be sober. I made a comment and you liked it. I read your comment and was intrigued by your support and willingness to extend yourself to help another longing to be sober.

    After reading about your story here, it gave me a renewed hope to continue in prayer and support of my bf. You see, he has struggled with alcohol most of his life, and is currently on another downward spiral. I have taken him to detox too many times to count. But, I have learned so much about God’s grace and strength through my relationship with this hurting and hurtful man. I have ( and continually ) learned about boundaries, choices and selfless love. Who have I learned this from? My friend, Jesus. Thank you for putting yourself out to help others. I have often felt a burden to do the same, but right now, my plate is full with this one. My prayers will be with you. I look forward to following along on this blog. God Bless!


  • Today you came to my school and helped our student body put things into perspective, drugs and alcohol had been the hot topic (people were discussing about them |they weren’t doing them| but they talked a lot about them and it makes you worry) of the school week and you simmered everything down. Thank you for showing the kids at my school that it is truly not worth it and being a great inspiration to me, your story ‘hit home’ with me and I have been sharing it with many. Thanks!


  • Rich
    I attending your presentation on Friday, May 23rd at ORRJHS. As a parent of a 7th grader I was very pleased with your overall points and felt that you hit a home run with every 7th and 8th grader in the room. Your story is heartfelt and quite honestly hits home to anyone that has struggled with drugs and alcohol.

    Keep up the great work with our children because one day you will help save a life.


  • HI RICH, JUST HAD TO SAY CONGRATS ON RANDOLPH HIGH! BUT ALSO TO SAY I AGREE EVEN IF ITS JUST ONE KID! BUT ITS BEEN MORE. MY NIECE AND NEPHEW FROM UR EAST BRIDGEWATER TALK, TOLD ME HOW MUCH THEY FELT WHEN U SPOKE AT THEIR SCHOOL! THEY SAID IT WAS SAD, SCAREY, THEY SAD THEIR HEARTS BROKE! ONLY TO BE AWAKEN BY A WONDERFUL MAN,WHO TAUGHT THEM MORE THAN THEY EVER REALIZED! I WAS SO PROUD OF U AND THEM! I KNOW FOR A FACT U TAUGHT,AND POSSIBLY SAVED THEM! BECAUSE MY NIECE WAS OFFERED POT AFTER THATAND SHE TOLD ME ABOUT IT! SHE TOLD THEM NO! SHE WAS ANGRY AND SAID . DID U NOT LISTEN TO MR. BARNES AT SCHOOL? HE TOLD US WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM! IS THAT THE LIFE U WANT?/ THEY SAID NO! SHE TOLD THEM TO NEVER OFFER THE POT EVER AGAIN,TO HER OR HER TWIN BROTHER, BOTH 13 YRS. OLD! AND SHE MEANT IT! PPLEASE NEVER DOUBT URSELF IN UR TEACHINGS! U R A TRUE BLESSING! ESPECIALLY TO MY FAMILY! MUCH LOVE FROM US ALL! XXX


  • Hi Rich, Read your poem on facebook, thought I’d share mine – hope you don’t mind…Winner of the Golden Poet Award in 1989.

    Myself
    I’ve lost the man known as myself –
    He seems to have vanished away.
    Did he catch the breeze above the trees,
    Or become part of a golden sun ray?

    He seized the dreams I’ve never dreamt
    Then ascended the stars of the midnight sea –
    Now through the fading smoke of the burning clouds
    I commence to correct my false fantasies.

    I sought not to seal all my secrets inside –
    Nor strived to hide my insanity with pride –
    So I search for solutions to seduce my mind
    And seek the sanity myself’s tried to hide,
    Now I’m starting to see, I’m no longer blind
    And I’ve buried the feelings of wanting to die.

    Now my conscious tells me not to run,
    But to stand and face what is to come,
    To realize what’s past is done
    And follow this new life I have begun
    For every day there is a rising sun and
    Now I know back home myself has come.

    By – Jeff Homan
    Performed by Music Dragon


  • This was a great presentation , Im glad you came to bp you really changed my changes on life


  • Hey Rich,
    I just wanted to thank you for coming out to my school today and sharing your story. I was so moved by it and it really hit home for me, my good friends father went through the same things you did while she was younger and he’s no longer with us. I wanted so badly to come up to you and shake your hand today after your presentation man, but I honestly thought I was gonna cry if I did. Keep doing what your doing and spread your story, you’re a fantastic motivational speaker and definitely changed my perspective on a lot of different things. When you told the story of the guru in the water that was seriously awesome, I applied that to my own passion and will never forget that.
    “You have to want to succeed as badly as you want to breath.” Changed my life and I’m sure many others.
    Keep spreading peace and love to kids, you’re doing it right.


  • Very inspirational, I look forward to seeing you at RCMS (Randolph).


  • Thank you so much for coming out to speak with us. Your talk at my school this past week was very inspirational! One of the students stopped me as I walked by and said “that was amazing!” Our students don’t truly understand how decisions they make now can affect them well into adulthood. Keep up the good work!


  • I think I’ll always remember your quote from today “that’s why the rear view mirror is so small and the windshield is so big” referring to the future is more important than the past and that’s so true! I wish you the best 🙂


  • Hello Mr. barnes

    Last year you visited my middle school (Easton, MA) and today you visited my high school. I would like to thank the you for the work you have done, a short time before you visited my middle school there were a few kids who had gotten caught with marijuana and a prescription drug and they were suspended the school made a big fuss over it (student body) and pointed a negative limelight at us, that’s why you came and i can tell you right now as a friend of one of the kids who had these, you make a great difference.

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