I was very torn by several topics to write on this week. One involved a wall street journal article about young adult novels and the word "banning" comes up in discussion. The other was on shorts (specifically Flashing My Shorts, a very fascinating book about writing and we may come back to that!) and the final topic was about a summer program that I have been invited to participate in. Since I have a meeting right after this post, I think I will talk about the summer program.
I live in a low-income urban development area and every summer the neighborhood association, with the help of the city, puts on a summer program to keep the kids off the streets. This year my lovely mother volunteered me in my absence. I am all about giving back to the community, so it wasn't really a big deal! But she was telling the city coordinator about some of my talents and since I have so bravely left the paying work force to pursue my writing recently, this was my mom's main focus. Which led to the director wanting me to be responsible for the journaling part of the program because she had read somewhere that journaling and creative outlet reduce gang participation and illegal activities in young socio-economically challenged youth. I don't know anything about that. But I do know that anyone can teach someone to journal and it doesn't take more than an hour... and they are wanting me to do this for an hour a day, five days a week, for six weeks.
Now I could take the low road and give her exactly what she wants. Tell the kids about journaling, give them some notebooks and set them to it. I could. It would save me time and while they were journaling I could be working on writing. I could, but at the same time I can't. You see, I want to make a difference in the world. That is part of the reason I write. I want to make people think. I want to share some of what I have learned about myself and about people in general. And now I am going to have this amazing opportunity to teach these young children about how they can shape the world. That is an awesome and humbling experience.
We are the leaders of tomorrow all grown up and today it is our responsibility to help shape the leaders of their tomorrow. Do we want them to idolize rappers, gang bangers, drug dealers, professional athletes and actors? Or do we want them to learn to love themselves? It is our responsibility to share what we know, but also to share how we know it. The Chinese proverb about giving a man a fish feeds him for a day, but teaching a man to fish will feed him for a life time is so true. Have you shared what you know? Have you taught others to find their passion? If so, tell us about it in the comment section.
Also, if either of the other topics I mentioned above appeal to you, let me know. I may be coming back to them!
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