I have groups at the school today and we are going to discuss once again on how to be grateful. Actually we will be rounding out the last few sessions we have had that lead us to this subject. We started with this topic last week and it started out with me asking "who are you" and "what are you" then "which is more important, or do they go together". When you work with teenagers you really never know what kind of response such questions will warrant. They kids actually did quite well.
From the "who and what" we went to "what and who do you want to be". Once again they amazed me with some of their answers, not because they wanted to be rocket scientists or rock stars but because they answered with such things as "good parents" "good spouse" "have a stable home" etc. At this point we went to what did all this boil down to really wanting. It took them awhile but finally each group was able to identify what they really want out of life is to be happy, which was the point I was trying to make with them from the very beginning.
They thought we were done, their mission was accomplished but I wasn't done with them quite yet. The next step to this...what is one thing they can do in order to find happiness in life. Of course I did get some smart azz answers, which is to be expected *okie won't share she has a few of her own going through her head* from teenagers. However, overall they did not disappoint me. After some discussion and me doing a little leading they were able to understand the main thing that can help them find happiness is to be grateful. Be grateful for the small things in life. I asked them to think throughout the day about being grateful and to report back 3 things they were grateful for during the day. The next group, which was on Tuesday some of them came back with some really good answers and some came back with "nothing, I can't think of anything I am grateful for". Now this concerned me about how some teenagers have never learned to appreciate the people in their lives. I was finally able to get each and everyone of them to report at least one thing they were grateful for and give the reason for feeling grateful.
One of the gals answered "Life, I am grateful for living". This let my mind open more to help them understand. I used this to have them talk about how each day they are alive they have something special....OPPORTUNITY. I tried to have them understand that each day is a new opportunity to make better choices, to realize there are always things and people in our lives in which to be grateful. I know some of the kids were only humoring me but there was one kid who I know it struck a chord. I told them that no matter how bad their home life was they are getting at an age where they have the opportunity to change their course in life with the decisions they make and ultimately hold the power to find true happiness in life. The kid who it seemed to really sink in for nodded his head and in a very serious voice said "that's some powerful shit right there". I had to smile and tell them "yeah it is powerful shit guys. Just think you have the power and the choice on how you want to live your life. If you want to break free of any of the crap that keeps you down and choose that for today you can be who and what you want...and you can be happy".
To be honest I was too lazy to edit some pictures for a blog post and just started typing and this is what came out. It is all true though, and I will be rounding out my groups today talking more about how every day is an opportunity to chose how we want to feel. As for me, I think I will take the opportunity to be grateful for so many things in my life and think of how I am blessed.
So how about you? Will you take the opportunity to be grateful today?