I would like to share with you a story about two very different children with two very different outcomes:
Scenerio 1: One girl grew up in foster care and lived in 4 different homes within two cities in 8 years. She did not have a consistent routine
or consistent caring adults in her life, she constantly had new rules, new expectations and environments on a regular basis. She had a child at the age of 20, had a job but had trouble keeping it, lives in the projects and is on welfare. She feels strongly that the world owes her something for her hardships, the glass is half empty and she feels destined to have a hard life.
Scenerio 2: A girl grows up in foster care and lived in 3 different homes in 10 years. She also did not have a consistent routine, she constantly had new rules, new expectations and environments on a regular basis as well. She is turning 16 and has a very different outlook on life than the first young woman we met. She sees great possibilities and opportunities, she has “hope” for a bright future. She aspires to be a successful career woman, and live on her own as a responsible adult.
The critical difference is ….hope.
Camper number 2 shared her story with us at a recent luncheon to celebrate Camp Joy’s anniversary. She shared that she used to be negative and down on the world and that she used to be a lot more like the first camper we met in this story. Fortunately she had an “ah ha” moment at Joy. She had a caring camp counselor who recognized that this young girl was on a very negative path and needed to see the world from a different perspective. The counselor challenged her to create her own destiny, to create goals for herself and to have “hope” for a brighter future.
So just how important is this concept of hope to our society and to the success of our children. Hope has incredible power to move people forward in a positive direction —hope for a brighter future, a better working environment, a better job, a better community. Hope has the power to create positive energy- the world is full of possibilities, if one door closes another opens, no becomes next, barriers become problem solving opportunities. Hope is contagious. The sparkle in someone’s eye, the spring in their step, the energy they exude.
We are all faced with challenges and barriers—the question becomes who are you…one who is full of hope…one who passes along hope and inspires others along the way. I hope you are.
Hope has been a strong force in my life and I see it with our campers as well. May you see the glass half full and help change the world.