Cherie has a valuable background in international development. We took those skills of sustainable community development and had Cherie focus her administrative tools and talents on the children.
One such example of this was when we had the kids S.W.O.T each other. This is when something [usually a project] is analyzed for its:
I remember thinking, gosh, we should probably do this intrusively cleaning process with the adults as well…but, I also had to make a dental appointment for the painful lost filling in my molar…… and I’m still currently going strong …..chewing using the other side of my mouth.
Cherie, the only adult present, gathered the children in the cozy living room one quiet, wintry afternoon. A bubble of safety was created. Camelot was in session and I’m told you could see the quiet dignity on each of the children’s faces as they thoughtfully regarded each person character.
Since each child knew their turn was coming, there was a degree of care in the delivery without any sacrifice in honesty…..It is a powerful thing to be able to sit and hear how someone else interprets your behavior, your decisions and your impact on those around you.
What impressed me the most about the children was their accuracy both positive and negative. I realized there was an ageless component to perceiving the human condition that children, being less judgmental and less inhibited, are better equipped to handle than many adults.
For some, it was diligence, creativity or encouragement. For others, it was gluttony, selfishness or disobedience. For all, it was a wake up call to take ownership of one’s behavior and to intentionally choose to act in a way that reflects your value system [an earlier Cherie inspired exercise in development].
People consistently remark that the kids are “so well poised” and “can easily converse with adults”. I think is stems from interactions like this; from the process of becoming self-aware. The children had a rare view of the impact of their unconscious behaviors on those around them. Subsequently, they were granted the rare opportunity consciously choose to create new behaviors and follow their impact on their environment.
I remember sitting and having a wonderfully therapeutic conversation about a problem I was having with my self-discipline. I heard the truth about my actions flanked in the reassurance that we all fall…just get up……my God daughter Linda was 8 at the time and I still value that conversation to this day!