I work with kids that are less fortunate than most. In most cases, they have been dealt a hand that most of us would pass on. They do what they can. They try in their own way. They get by. For them, it is one day at a time. They make mistakes, no doubt. Sometimes some very serious mistakes.
I wonder how I would do if I was in their shoes.
When I first meet them, there is usually resistance...not just from them. They have a look...an attitude. I try to think of a way to get past it. I know that it is going to take time. I have to be smart...be patient.
I wonder what they think about me.
They have a history of making poor decisions. I know this will continue to take place ...even in the future. Probably everyday.
Maybe it can happen less frequently.
One kid that I've worked with for a long time is in jail for a very serious charge. I really don't know if he did what he is accused of doing. But, I do know that at times he is a great kid. I know if I needed help, he would help me in a minute. I also know that he would do the same for a complete stranger. I really like this kid.
This scares me a little bit.
Another kid that I've worked with for years has a very difficult life. He is also very poor. He lacks motivation and follow-through. This is evident everyday. I find myself getting very frustrated that he doesn't try harder. One day, he earned $10 on a part-time job. He used his $10 to buy a homeless man dinner.
I was not surprised by this.
There is another kid that I recently met. We haven't connected. He's tough. I know his story. It's not a good one. It's going to take more of an effort to connect. I just heard that while on a group visit to a library he found himself alone. He found a wallet laying on the ground that had, among other things, asubstantial amount of cash in it. He turned it all in.
I have got to try harder."