"The kids..they told me they are good at fighting...That's what they know. And they are good at it." -Words from my counseling supervisor about many of the youth we serve
This was shocking to me at first, but quickly made sense when I saw that he wasn't kidding.
What are you good at?
Math, writing, music?
I don't advocate violence whatsoever. My job has existed to help kids come up with alternatives so they can stay in school, stay at home, and find better ways and still be safe.
I don't even like to watch violence on TV. I still have bad dreams when I do. My brain can't take gunshots and blood, apparently.
But I've met the kids who hear real gunshots before they go to bed and bleeding has become a norm because they are good at fighting. They have learned to fend for themselves and sometimes that means they fight.
It's easier to ignore it. It's easier to watch it on TV.
I promise you for the last three years I am the last person you'd pick to help the ones in such situations. Sometimes you do things and later you realize you were the odd ball out, but you kept going back anyway.
My job rarely made sense (even to me) because there was often no resolution.
We crave things that make sense. Situations that get better. No more fighting.
Will it ever change? Will they ever lose their need to be strong? Will survival ever get easier?
I want the kids to grow up to see a better tomorrow.
I want them to know they are more than their ability to fight. But I've learned...not to diminish that they can...
Linking with Five Minute Friday again