How to “Make a Difference”: Teaching Awareness

If you are going to change the lives of kids forever, how do you do it?  Should you be an institutional cheerleader, rooting our youth on in their fight for “the good life”? You could be an encyclopedia, sharing your knowledge for all to use as they desire?  Or a gardener, nurturing tender young shoots as they grow to adulthood?

To be really effective as an agent of change, you are all three and more.  Change is a process that comes from within.  We cannot force it upon anybody by telling them they have to change for their own good.   But it does follow a very consistent pattern.

So what is the formula that allows us to be all of the instruments above?    What do we need to help children to do?

Here are four basic steps that each child (or adult) will go through on their way to making a change.

  1. Awareness
  2. Commitment
  3. Discipline
  4. Perseverance

Let’s discuss the first.

Awareness is the first step to changing anything—You must have an awareness that looks at where we are as well as a vision of where you want to be.  For a child, this could be a desire to have a healthy heart or to be able to read chapter books.  It could be growing up to be like Dad, or even like Michael Jordan if you are a basketball player.  This is the knowledge sharing portion of leading through change.  You don’t need to be an encyclopedia, though.  You need more knowledge than those you are teaching.  That is all that is required here.

So think about what changes you would make in the children around you to “make a difference”.  Think about fitness, health, reading, character, writing, sports skills, or any of a myriad of behaviors and skills that you could choose.  Can you create a story for children and help them see their potential, what they can attain.  This is the vision.  You know the youth that you can influence, so only you can write the story in a way that means something to them.

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