October 13, 2013

An Example for Good

This past week I began volunteering with a mentoring program through my university. It provides mentors to elementary school aged children who are considered "at risk" due to their home situation. This could be because of various scenarios, but one of the main purposes is to provide a stable environment with a responsible adult type figure. I have been with Jocelyn, the little girl I have been assigned to mentor, for a total of four hours. That isn't much time to get to know someone, but already she has taught me so much as to who I am and who I want to become. Children are so trusting and impressionable. Above all they are constantly watching our every move and mimicking what they see. While waiting for the bus one day Jocelyn and I were playing I spy. I resorted to this game because I knew that expecting a kindergarten aged child to sit still and wait for a bus for ten minutes was wishful thinking. As the game progressed, I began to realize that my selections of spied objects were too easy for Jocelyn. She would usually guess them in one or two tries because she would follow my eye as I made my selection. I decided to challenge her. I looked around pretending to be seeking an object to spy while I had secretly already chosen her pink corduroy pants. After a short time I said "I spy something pink." Just as I had observed previously Jocelyn looked off into the direction that I had been staring in search of the spied pink object. She soon became frustrated because of the lack of success in finding what was pink. I recognized this frustration and so, to give her a hint, I gently tapped her on the knee. This did the trick and she immediately exclaimed that I had spied her pants. The game progressed further and soon it was my turn to be stumped. Jocelyn turned completely around and looked over the back of the bench that we were sitting on and looked back for a long time. After a minute or so she said, "I spy something brown." Surveying the scene behind the bench, I guessed everything possible that she could have considered brown without success. Soon, when I was about to give up, I felt a little tap on my shoe. I looked down only to realize that I was wearing a brown pair of boots. What a great example to me that game of I spy was. I learned in such a small about of time a huge concept of human nature. We pay more attention to an individual's actions than to their words. It is because our actions more fully communicate what we value than our words. I learned that, while I do need to make sure that my words convey a message that I want my little Jocelyn to learn, my actions need to be conformed to that same goal. It also communicated to me how impressionable she truly is. It only took me doing an action once for her to recognize and mimic it. I know more fully what a powerful impact I have. This can easily become a force for good or bad. The great thing about it is, though, that it is my choice which it will be. Obviously, it will take effort on my part in order for me to accomplish my goal of being a good role model. I also know that I am not perfect, but I have an advantage that can help me to gain that extra boost. It is my Father in Heaven. He knows the desires of my heart and he knows what my situation needs. And what is the best part of this? All I have to do is faithfully ask for his aid. Through my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ I can achieve all I aspire to and more. I can become the role model, teacher, and friend to Jocelyn that I dream of every day. I can build the skills necessary to also be that to, my future students when I become a professional teacher. I know that I can be a force for good purely through my example. I know that I'm not perfect; far from it actually. However, through a little bit of effort and being conscious of my actions, I know that I can become an example of Christ. I know that is what I want to become. I know that striving to become that will allow me to be the example and stability the Jocelyn needs and that I want to be for her.
post signature

No comments:

Post a Comment

Images by Freepik