I had the great pleasure again to connect A Life in Pieces with brilliant youth. Envision a session imbued with facts and feelings engaging, first, only youth – no adults allowed! Following this, a session of only adults engaged in the same information, and made aware of the fact they are living through the feelings of their youth as I share the youth’s experiences. Do you think the end results/feelings would be the same? Do adults feel the same as youth when thrust into the true meaning of words? The results I found concluding this particular session are the same as decades of feelings from attendees of A Life in Pieces.
A small summary moving beyond “BE GOOD!” to the fact that “you ARE good!” can be seen in the image on the left. To the left of the whiteboard are two bold statements from the youth living in a world where training by adults begins with BE GOOD; often summarized by youth as, “be good like me”; or “be just like me”. Youth are telling adults – “I am not you! We are not the same!” To the right of the whiteboard is the creation of “you ARE good!”, in other words, peace and pure empowerment, as the youth exclaim “I AM ME!”. Feel their hearts beaming with pride, honesty, direction and confidence. This statement is the future of happy and healthy lives.
FROM YOUTH evaluations – Best part of this session – Making a puzzle – Everything – Singing – After the session, when I stayed behind – When we started finding ourselves; what I would change – nothing
FROM ADULT evaluations - Best part of this session – Communication is so important, the presenter did a great job at driving this point home.This session was very inspiring! – So often we don’t listen to our children as we should. We need to really talk to our children and ask them what they want, feel and in lots of cases NEED! – Learning how the students felt about themselves. Adult moods, posture affecting youth. what I would change – nothing……
A simple fact connecting the above words of only a few adult/youth participants – happiness, progress, success, discipline, hope, joy and peace come when shared acceptance and understanding occur. Respect and honour shine when dignity and integrity remain intact.
*take note of the following session evaluations from two adult attendees as it drives home an important fact: ”I had no idea what was going on until the end.” – ”I really didn’t understand what the workshop was about. It was confusing and I felt like the speaker didn’t explain her program.” These are clear demonstrations of, one, the simple fact that people, while listening to exactly the same words actually hear different messages and comprehend in different ways. And two, in a session that was clear, precise and loved by the youth, some adults turn their backs on the idea that children are born with empathy, morals and virtues, that indeed they do not have to be taught. Is our need to train goodness in children so strong that a clear, defined message of inner goodness is impossible to understand. Is our habit of searching for the bad in our children blinding us to the feelings written out by our youth, feelings of humiliation and insult in the world of “BE GOOD!”. Have our pasts, pasts perhaps filled with derogatory statements prefaced with “BE….” made it impossible for us to ignite and enjoy feelings of love, acceptance and hope knowing, unequivocally, “I AM all I need to be!”; “I AM ME!”