Friday, March 09, 2007

Don't delay, rebel

As a side note before I write my entry for the night, a friend of mine told me I was like Carrie Bradshaw tonight but instead of naming my writing "Sex and the City", I should call it "Action and the Community". That gave me a little chuckle, thought it might do the same for some of you.

Tonight I got the priviledge of a family ticket to an awards banquet for an old student of mine. Its totally humbling you know, when a kid takes one of five tickets given for a ceremony and asks you to be their family for the night. My babies are soooo talented. I mean amazingly, infinitely talented. That is why tonight, I sat in a room honoring one of them for getting a community service scholarship. She was one of the higher end prizes, a $5,000 scholarship. And it meant a lot to me to watch as she beamed, knowing what she brought together.

I was standing there talking to an old co-worker (also invited by another student) and all of a sudden I feel arms swing around me. I see this young woman, whom I've had the priviledge of knowing since she was a child of 14. Tears in her eyes, and she's telling me how much she loves and misses me. Its funny what wells of emotion feel like.

Have you ever been to the gulf of mexico? I've only been once when I was a little kid. So my perspective is that of a really young child. It was a really surreal water experience. It's like your stepping into the ocean, but when you get in, its so warm. And it laps against your legs and makes you feel comfortable and excited at the same time. Everything I had been conditioned to with the ocean was always to brace yourself for the shock of cold. But in the Gulf, you get the exhiliration of the ocean, with the comfort of warmth.

Standing there with Wendy felt like swimming in the gulf. I know that sounds weird as far as metaphors go, but it is what it is. I had always been taught that outward displays of emotion equated weakness. This made home really tough, because I'm an emotional girl by birth. It never worked to suppress it, it just served to create in me a standard I could never meet. In working with the, its a little over 1,000 now, students I've worked with, I have learned the importance of swimming in the gulf. But I digress.

I sat in a room where 27 teenagers were getting awards for working to heal the community. My awe in them is still present as I type this. I love that young people care so much. And really, they all do. Even the ones that say they don't care, only say they don't care because caring as much as they do is frightening for them. You teach our young how to put up a fight, and a fight you'll get. You teach them how to learn and engage and you will get community leaders.

This teen tonight said something along the lines of seeing something that talked about how if you had all the kids in China jump at the same time. It would throw the world off it's axis. He said he hoped that they were all jumping so hard that the world would be rocked by them too. And I felt it, I felt the axis tip. I saw hope. No tatoo, black clothes, goth makeup, picket sign, piercing, bald head, alcoholic binge, sexual exploit, or screaming match is a bigger act of rebelion then what those kids put in one room tonight.

I left inspired and ready to work for change again.

We don't have time to waste guys, rebel.

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