I work with kids that are less fortunate than most...

"Listen Lucy,

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."