Friday, March 9, 2012

judging others... thoughts from a 12 year old.

With the non profit I work for, I am so fortunate to be involved with some pretty incredible youth.
They range in ages, some as young as 5 or 6 years old all the way through seniors in high school.
Often times, these kids say things and I think... "wow!"
Many of them are intelligent and wise beyond their years.

{A little background} 
I work for an organization that helps youth to find areas of need in their communities (through guest speakers and partnerships with other agencies) and fulfill these needs through volunteering.  This means we have youth volunteers of all ages hand making food and feeding the homeless, working at local food closets, collecting food, toiletries, and clothing for people who need them, working along side other homeless youth from shelters, and so much more.  Our organization hopes to inspire compassion and a desire to be involved in their communities through hands on service learning.  We hope to empower them and give them the realization that they can make a difference.


Recently, I was interviewing a very vibrant 12 year old boy... Dylan.  He said something in his interview that really captured me.

While talking to Dylan, he said said at first he was struck by some of the people {homeless} he was serving.  He wondered how they had cell phones and bikes if they were homeless.  
He pondered why these people were here, if they were addicted to drugs, alcohol, committed a crime, or if they just have struggled financially.
At first, he said it really rubbed him wrong.  He felt unsure about it... and admittedly, I have felt this way before as well.
Then... he paused for a second, leaned his head in a little and thoughtfully said,
"but then I realized, my job isn't to judge or make guesses about any of these people.  Some people are just born into this but I don't need to judge them, I just need to help them."

And there you have it.  Wise words from the mouth of a 12 year old.

Here are some photos from our most recent homeless outreach:
Making more than 250 sandwiches is a lot of work!
So is separating 250 bags of chips!
 Greeting people and serving them home made sack lunches...
Helping others pick out toiletries, socks, or books from our drives.
photo courtesy Inga&Todd
Have a beautiful weekend!

22 comments:

Shannon Elise said...

You do such wonderful work Trace! I am excited to volunteer.

Kelly said...

We can learn a lot from kids... We have to remember to listen to them. They are lucky to work with you, Tracy. You may not realize it, but YOU were (still are) just like this guy when you were his age... Always wise beyond your years!

Sandra said...

Wow. What a great thing for him to realize! And all on his own!

Melissa said...

That is the sweetest thing I've ever heard! What a wise, wise little boy! Your job sounds amazing!

Jax said...

You're an inspiration and so is this boy! What perspective he has at such a young age.. Wow.

jamiej said...

Dylan is such a sweet kid...he is in my 7th grade Science class this year :) I will tell him that I saw this blog and how proud of him I am.

Angie said...

What wonderful work you do! Sounds as though that fella is wise beyond his years. He could probably teach us all a lesson or two!

Mama and her boys said...

I love your organization. What a sweet, sweet boy he sounds like!

Bethany said...

Wow leave it to a kid to offer such an awesome dose of perspective :) Great story to end the week!

tattytiara said...

Yep. The kid nailed it.

Jenna said...

Yep, Dylan's hit the nail right on the head! Sometimes children are so much wiser than adults :)

Sounds like an amazing organization to work for!

xxx
Jenna

Allison said...

I love that! Kids say it right! It's all common sense really and we make life too complicated. Love that you have fulfilling work!

Ocean Dreams said...

What a wonderful job and so gratifying, not only for you but the people being served, I'm sure! That little boy is wise - so many times that we can get caught up in judging that we forget to value the person and understand that we can't put ourselves in their shoes.

Rod and Alex - aka: "Rolex" said...

Wise words indeed!
Your job sounds amazing!!!

Meg said...

What an amazingly profound thought from a young mind. I don't deal with kids very often, but when I was working for the library I was blown away by how thoughtful or well-spoken some children are. Looks like you do some incredible work.

I'm so glad I got the chance to meet you at the meet-up! Hope to see you again sometime!

Leslee said...

The innocence of a child, but so poetic!

Wonderful story to share...

Suze said...

Wow this is so true!!! Beautifully put!'!

lushdeez said...

Aw that's a heart warming site seeing young people helping others in need. I think it's a great thing for people to learn early in life.

It was very nice meeting you too Tracy! Hopefully we can all do the wine tasting some time! :)

Mrs. Pancakes said...

Sounds like an awesome project!!

Kelsey @ Seattle Smith's said...

What an amazing and encouraging experience!!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Wow, what an amazing young man.

MJ @ Teaching in Heels said...

What an amazing young man...