by Kim Jackson of PeaceLoveandPrettyThings
Yesterday afternoon, I had the opportunity to speak with a group of middle schoolers at Camp Font-Tastic at Morgan State University, my alma mater. I showed up with my social media etiquette presentation notes in hand and a small hope in my heart that at least a couple of the campers would be willing to answer some of my questions and give me a glimmer of feedback. Sure, I knew I was presenting a topic of interest and relevance to them; but also knowing that they were about the same age as my son, and how he lapses into silences when I least expect it, I wasn’t sure of what I would get.
I was over-whelmed by the candor with which the group responded. Most of the young men and women openly participated in the discussion--not only did they answer my questions and respond to my examples, but they presented really thoughtful questions, and even had a few funny stories in their back pockets.
I left that classroom grateful that I’d had the opportunity to engage and hopeful that they’d learned something. But most importantly, I left with a huge smile on my face. Nothing contributes to my inner pretty and inner peace more than sharing a little bit of myself with others. And children in particular, have such an honest way about them that’s inspiring—they don’t pull any punches, and they don’t tip toe around your feelings. You know if you’ve connected with them or if you haven’t. And I had forgotten the refreshing feeling of looking into so many eyes full of hope and hungry for information.
I used to volunteer regularly with kids of all ages, but hadn’t done so in a really long time. I think those campers have reinvigorated my love of giving back in that way. When I became a parent, I zeroed in my own kid, and those that are close to me. But there are so many others that might benefit from a bit of inner pretty.
Do you regularly volunteer or give back in some way?
How does it make you feel?