Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I believe in you

"It is amazing what a little belief in a boy can do for him" Jim Oliver

This was a statement in a recent Boy Scout adult leader meeting that was made by one of the participants. Jim is a Scoutmaster and although I had never met him before my guess is that he must be a pretty good one.

Jim gets it. He understands at a deep level the impact those of us that work with youth can have through an action as simple as a belief in the potential of each person. This belief is reflected by how we treat them and how they view us as Adults.

We must talk deeply to understand who they are, how they think, and what they deep down aspire to be.

We must give them the chance to lead and give them the chance to succeed. Along the way don't soften the standards or bend the rules. In fact, hold steadfast to these knowing the achievement is ever more valuable if it was hard.

We must allow and even celebrate failure. Why? Failures are the great teachable moments in life and it is so much easier to correct and change when the teacher says, "Okay you failed. Now what did you learn and what are you going to do differently next time." If they learn this now just imagine how much better they will learn to handle the failures that our bound to come in the future.

We must model in every way the kind of person we hope these youth will grow up to be as adults. This includes our own actions, words and attitudes towards other youth, fellow adult volunteers and parents.

Don't like the kids putting down others? Then stop doing it in front of them. Think some are lazy? Then let them see you out work everyone else. Not happy with negative attitudes? Then throw a smile on even when your day was just a total mess.

Most importantly as Jim points out believe, believe and believe again. You may be the only person this kid will encounter that accepts and believes not just for who he/she is now but also who he/she could be in the future.

Have you ever had someone believe in you when you did not believe in yourself?

Have you personally seen the power of belief change the life of another?

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