It was an observation.
My grand daughter who is staying with us from Canada on the Working Holiday programme got a job picking beans. The day consisted of all the adults launching into their bits of loving and concerned advice, which was not empowering as much as it was frightening. They were schooling her in every conceivable problem that could occur.
I watched her face morph from elation to worry as she eventually confided in me, “I don’t know if I am going to be able to do this.”
These people love her and care for her and they were trying to help.
It is such a fine line between giving our kids realistic information so that they are prepared to deal with life, and still empowering them. It is an example of everything I have always said. We open our children up and dump all our fears into them. We programme them to fail. We show them a world with demons and darkness and we do it while we systematically convince them that the darkness is bigger, scarier and more powerful than they will ever be. We do it in so many big and very small ways. We do it daily.
There is no darkness that human beings cannot defeat. There is not darkness. There is only fear and our inability to understand our own power.
I pulled her aside and looked her in the eyes and calmly told her. 3 months is all you need to get your chance at a second year here. You will have time to really think about life while you pick. People pay for the opportunity to connect with the earth so that they can find silence and be renewed. You will learn more from this journey inside yourself over the next few month than you will from all your time in school. You will get a sun tan, you will get more fit, it will be perfect prep for you to get physically ready to be able to do some of the hiking and experiences you want to do while you are here. You will make good money so you can go on those trips. It will structure your day. You will meet new people and maybe make some awesome friends. You will meet people from other parts of the world and learn about their lives. Every year people like yourself, come here and do this exact thing and have the time of their lives. If they can do it, so can you. AND you will have the satisfaction of knowing you can apply yourself and that you did not give up. I don’t THINK you can do it, I KNOW you can do it.
She needed proper clothes and equipment, she needed to know about bringing enough water, a lunch, what time she had to be there. She needed to know what the boss expected, when she got paid, how much she got paid. She needed to be prepared it would be hot and that it is hard work but the aches and pains of the first couple of days don’t last. She is young and healthy and fit. She is open to life. But most importantly, she needs to know, as she pushes herself to do something that is going to be tough and mundane and harder than anything she has ever done, that we believe in her.
She is willing to try and we should be willing to empower her efforts.
Once she has this under her belt, she will also have the understanding that she can do the tough jobs. I doubt any other job she ever faces will be as tough a situation – sitting for hours, fully clothed, in the hot sun, covered with dirt, picking beans. Anything else she does will seem easy. She does not know all that she is yet capable of and honestly … neither do we, the older wiser ones … We just have to work a little harder at getting rid of our negativity and our connection to fear. That we, people who love her, clothed that love and our concern with all that fear is a strong reminder to be more aware.