Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back to School Countdown #13: Be a Powerful Community Builder

I was so tired and worn, having gone through another round of the verbal boxing with my teenager. What was I going to do next?  I had tried just about every suggestion and nothing seemed to make a difference. 
I was so angry that I almost exploded and had to excuse myself so that I could hopefully remain human in a public setting.  The next morning as I dropped kids off at school another mother approached me and asked “How are you?”  Instead of my usual fine I broke down and shared some of the difficulties I was experiencing.  She listened, shared some of her similar experiences and then gently offered some resources that meant help.
What a difference that very short encounter made.  I was able to share my concerns with someone who understood and had been through a similar experience.  I couldn’t believe what a difference it made to me. This and many other experiences have taught me that community is the key to building stronger individuals.
Each of us can build greater support for those doing the most difficult job in our society preparing the next generation. 
Assess the situations you are most closely associated with and ask “How I can make a difference in the lives of the children in my community?” “What type of support can I add to those within my own area of influence that will support and sustain children?”
As community members we are so powerful.  It is relationships with others that can solve problems. Take the time to get to know other parents and share your thoughts.  Build stronger relationships with those in your school community.  Be patient with those struggling.  Share your gifts with the others. As you start the new school year, think of ways that you as a member of your school community can strengthen others.

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