On yesterday evening, I paused action on my “productivity” list and decided to attend a graduation program that celebrates youth in foster care. I was completely unsure that I would see anyone there that I knew (and sure enough, I knew NONE of the graduates) and I had no significant emotional ties to any of the staff and guests. I only knew that I wanted to be a part of the celebration that honored these young people. Here are some of the things I observed and appreciated:
- Not only were graduates honored, but so were their caregivers (foster parents, program supervisors, social workers, counselors, etc).
- A spoken word artist’s encouragement to embrace and share your story, no matter what it is.
- A reminder that all things (good and bad) work together to our ultimate good, to our ultimate shaping.
- That attitude is important…the attitude we choose to adopt and daily live by affects us. To my current memory, Stephen Covey referred to it as “our own internal weather.”
My fellow readers, some of these young people have faced horrors from which a lot of us were spared, but they chose to become focused and finish school. Among them were scholarship recipients to well-known colleges, husbands and wives who’d already started families, teen business owners, singers, artists, and those who are still trying to figure out the next step. The point: they made it to this point, they achieved that goal and by God, they will continue to soar and achieve more. I did not know any of them personally but I’m incredibly proud of each of them and was honored to have been in their presence. In the words of Dr. John C. Maxwell, remember that “Change is inevitable. Growth is optional.” Choose growth. Hats off to all graduates and the next step in this journey called life.
#fostercare #ittakesavillage #youth #focus #graduates #Johncmaxwell
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On Sunday, I listened to a diverse group of young graduate students, soon to be professionals, share goals and objectives relative to the student organizations in which they hold leadership positions. As I observed, the principle that resonated with me was Sharpen Your Saw. I’ve long admired Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw, is one that often hangs in my memory. Admittedly, I usually only think in terms of attempts to stay mentally sharp but in reality, and in short, this habit speaks to the need to continually utilize resources and tools that will strengthen your overall ability to be productive and be a part of the change that you desire to see. Sharpening the Saw is about renewal.
During this leadership retreat, which was set in a peaceful camp and retreat center area, these student leaders were able to address the four areas wherein sharpening is necessary for renewal: physical, social/emotional, spiritual, and mental. To participate in the retreat, they had to be willing to step away from the rigors of law school studies and refocus their energies towards planning, brainstorming, strategizing, networking, and synergizing. As a bonus, they also had a chance to enjoy nature and engage in physical activities. I do believe that both the individual and student organizations represented will be the better for it.
In closing, I have to give props where they are due, for I was truly an observer only in these efforts; I did absolutely nothing to make it happen. With that said, kudos to the dean of Campbell Law School, J. Rich Leonard, for making the retreat possible and his staff who took part to ensure its success. One more example of successful collaboration! Until next time, take a moment to sharpen your saw.
#studentleaders #CampbellLaw #StephenCovey
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