What I Learned in Kindergarten

Not much. I was what they called a hand full. I struggled with the rules and expectations of others. (Still do) I had trouble staying in line and staying inside the lines. (Still do) I was impatient and persistent. (Still am). But I did learn or relearn because I believe my grandma taught me the same lesson earlier. I learned that changing our circumstances will only go so far to resolve our problems. The harder change is changing our attitude. (I had one, still do)

I have worked with hundreds of families over the years who had workers changing their circumstances. Programs fed their children. Programs provided them with housing. Government provided them income. Social workers provided them transportation. Everyone was doing something for them but they became less motivated to do something for themselves. The external changing of circumstances seemed to exacerbate the problems. They had house and hearth and food and healthcare but they were robbed of their purpose. The families I saw who changed their attitude of entitlement to one of empowerment, lifted themselves and their family. When the attitude shifted for absolved of responsibility to involved in restoration immediate changes occurred. When expectations were agreed to and consequences understood, families had a common goal and something to achieve every day.

I wonder how many people who have never accessed the services of a social agency would benefit from an attitude adjustment. I know that I still need a tuneup at least once a month to remind me of my responsibilities, my consequences and my purpose.


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