It’s been a long time since my last update, for whatever reason. Maybe it’s because of laziness, maybe an inability to put my thoughts into words lately, but not for lack of things to write about.
There’s always something to write about.
Several things have come and gone, some of them noteworthy enough to write a blog post about (my fitness room project coming up will get a blog post soon), some of them somewhat newsworthy but not exciting or interesting enough to have a blog post written about them (my birthday and the Super Bowl, or Kukeri which I posted about last year), and many of them not exciting or interesting at all (going about my daily life, or how I do laundry seemingly every day now).
So with all that in the mix it gets harder to work up a blog post of any substance. I like writing about things that I feel have some weight to them. I like the end result of what I write to be a fully thought out result of an observation I make, or a trip I go on, or something of the sort. And I hope the end result comes out well on the side of the reader. That is unless you readers would like me to write up a daily account that would read more like a to-do list than anything cohesive or (what I would perceive as) interesting.
The reason I was inspired to write something today was from a quote taken from a conversation I had with my coworker the other day. We were discussing an unfortunate event that happened earlier in the day. A couple of the orphanage boys skipped out on class, stole some bags and started running. They were eventually caught, but the damage was already done. The boys were scheduled to be transferred from the VP orphanage to a different one. The discussion was hardly surprising, but what took me was what she said during a pause in the conversation.
“There is always something to be angry about.”
Now I suppose this is true, but it seemed to capture the essence of working here perfectly. This is a place in which you have to pick your battles, to focus on the good things that happen, and to take every day one step at a time. Often the situation here is to forget those common pieces of advice and to expect everything from everyone all the time. When someone thinks that things should be perfect all the time, of course you’re going to be constantly angry.
However, it’s not just a reaction, but an expectation. People (including myself) have fallen into the trap of expecting something bad to happen at any time. When we have the expectation that something will get on our nerves or go horribly wrong, the chances are we will highlight it when it does. It also clouds our ability to seek out the positive things during the day. So of course, with this mindset of expecting to get angry, a host of problems arise. We identify the children we work with as being impossible to help rather than searching for their strengths and developing them (the view of most people here in town). We treat children as problems to be dealt with rather than individuals who are constantly learning and gathering information about the world around them.
And with that being said, the danger is that children develop the same view from the influence of the people they learn from - that they are problems that need to be dealt with, or could do something that will cause an anger explosion at any time. The expectation becomes that they cannot change who they are, and who they are is a bad kid who cannot do good, or is stupid, or will never do anything of consequence in their lives. The case today may have stemmed from our expectations of them as “bad kids.” The boys might as well have carried the label as a bumper sticker on their foreheads. And of course they played the part today. And of course people were angry about it.
But this is to ignore the good things that happened on the same day. This is to ignore the positive steps taken by other kids. Rather than thinking that there is always something to be angry about we should remind ourselves that something positive happens every day. More than that, children are constantly developing in positive ways that we cannot readily identify in the moment. Admittedly this is more difficult, and very hard to see day to day. That’s what makes being in this line of work so challenging, and at many times frustrating. The progress isn’t always easily evident. There may not be a clear talking point at the end of the day, while bad events are readily identifiable and easy to latch on to.
It’s just a matter of training yourself to believe that one small, hard to identify positive outweighs the gigantic negative.
Until next time...