February 23, 2014

let people find their happiness.

There aren't many days that go by in my life that I don't think of my kids at St. Pauls High School. Even though I was only there for six months, I know that those kids taught me more than I probably taught them.  I felt like a parent to eighty kids each day for six months.  I ate lunch with them, I spent early mornings and late nights at school teaching, learning, and living life with eighty kids...kids that taught me how to live life a little differently and that there is always a story behind everything.
Frequently, I would look back on my own childhood and compare it to theirs.  Our wants and needs were much different.  For example...I wanted lunchables, they want to go out to eat; I wanted a horse; they want the latest gadget.  Even though many of these kids were only 4-8 years younger than me, I realized how different my generation was from theirs.  Its crazy to me how much a view on life can change so quickly.  
My parents forced me to take piano lessons when I was in the second grade up until I was a young teenager.  I was bribed with marshmallows for my practice during the week, then a sugar cookie from the local bakery after my lesson with Ms. Stemple.  People...it took a lot of focus for me to sit at that piano each day when all I could dream of was horses.

I wanted to take riding lessons more than anything else.  I was always looking at horse magazines, reading Saddle Club books, and even got so desperate that I cut out horse pictures and posted them everywhere around the house...just to remind my parents.

I finally got some riding lessons...and my first horse Kyah. 
You know what? I loved that horse. I was passionate about horses...I worked at the barn on the weekends, I rode other people's horses, and got thrown off more times than I can count.  But, I loved it and still do.

Now, you are probably reading this wondering where the heck I am going with this post...but people do things that motivate them, they do things that they are passionate about.  Some of my kids at St. Pauls weren't passionate about academics, but man, they would do any type of handiwork for me in a heartbeat. I wasn't passionate about piano, but I loved horses. People have different things that fuel their energy.  My roommate loves working out, my brother likes golf, and my friend at work is passionate about vintage antiques.  

We all have something inside of us that captures our attention and nobody will stop us from achieving it.  So, the next time you try to force someone to do something that they may not like, think about something you didn't like.  We all have that "thing", mine was piano, yours may be something else.  Naturally, people will do what makes them happy.  If they are unhappy about their self-image, they will go through steps to change it.  If they are unhappy with their landscaping at their home, they will change it. Most people want to do things that make them happy...and happy people are what make living life a little bit more enjoyable.

Did you ever feel forced to do something?