This week's #Friday Reflection is: "Reflect about or champion a cause close to your heart"
I thought I'd write a little bit about how things are going with the little boy I mentor through a program called Kids Hope. This is a program that links a church with a local primary school and the school chooses children who would benefit from some one to one time. The church provides the volunteers, who each get matched up with a child for an hour every week. A small amount of time that can make a real difference in that child's life.
He's always really chuffed when we get it all sorted (sometimes it can take three or four attempts to get the pieces in the right place) and he loves that he accomplished something that he was ready to give up on. I've also noticed that he takes a little longer each time before he starts telling me I wasted my money and it's not going to work. He's starting to grasp the concept that you have to put some effort in if you want results.
Blake is a small reflection of what a lot of people are like nowadays - they get faced with a problem and they give up or let it defeat them. He says he's bad at Math - really he just doesn't want to take the time to work a problem out - he wants to guess or give up. Neither is an option so we have to work through the process to come up with the right answer (while I add the positive reinforcement.)
One of the many lessons I've learned is that life will always throw up the occasional (or sometimes regular) problem. We lose a job, we lose a loved one, our dog gets run over by a car, our child does poorly at school, our mother comes to live with us, and so the list goes on. We can choose to lie down and let the problem win while we feel sorry for ourselves, or we can accept that life sucks sometimes and that dealing with problems is what makes us resilient. Resilience is one of the best gifts (along with gratitude) that life can teach us - it makes us better human beings and it gives us the skills to take on life's challenges and come out the other side.
I tell Blake that good things don't come easy, I want him to build that resilience so that he can face problems and difficulties with a "can do" attitude, rather than throwing his hands up in the area and declaring defeat at the first hurdle. I think he's taking it all on board and if my hour a week with him can provide some extra life skills to help him become a stronger person then the whole Kids Hope program has been worth every second of my time. It's nearly the end of the school year, but I'm already looking forward to what next year holds for me in the school.