It’s Our Messes That Connect Us
January 30, 2016
Key to Parenting
January 30, 2016
Show all

Dream Again

"Why don't you want to go to school?" Mark asked.
"School's not important," David replied.

"Why isn't school important?" Mark asked, to which came the plain-spoken response, "I'm going to either be in jail or dead in a few years anyway. Why would these next few years of school matter?"

This hit Mark in the gut. The idea that a 16-year-old saw a future so bleak, that there was no point in even trying.

It made sense, though. In David's neighborhood, the young men joined gangs and eventually ended up with just that future—in jail or dead. Attending classes, graduating from high school didn't really mean anything. It didn't change the inevitable.

Mark now looked at David with new eyes. Now he didn't see a juvenile delinquent or a typical high school student. He saw a pragmatist.

One who was resigned to his fate.

What David didn't see was the possibility of a different future.
Mark felt a stirring in his chest. "Is this the future that you want?"

For the first time, David looked confused. This was his life. He never thought he had a choice.

He had to help David dream, Mark realized. David, and kids like him, don't instinctively dream of failing. They're taught that inadvertently or intentionally, through life experiences and the reactions to them. Our job, Mark thought, is to help them remember their dreams and help them believe they can accomplish those dreams.

"If you had another option, what would you want to do?" Mark asked David. "Where would you want to be in five years? Then the question is, how do we help you get there?"

And for the first time in years,
David considered his life and he realized it could have purpose.

Pamela Deloatch

Pamela is a treasured staff editor for RTC who has contributed to nearly a dozen books including Classroom Heroes, Not Your Mother's Hysterectomy, Chasing Hope, and an entire slate of books in production.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *