Thursday, February 9, 2012

Opportunity To Be Grateful

I have groups at the school today and we are going to discuss once again on how to be grateful. Actually we will be rounding out the last few sessions we have had that lead us to this subject. We started with this topic last week and it started out with me asking "who are you" and "what are you" then "which is more important, or do they go together". When you work with teenagers you really never know what kind of response such questions will warrant. They kids actually did quite well.

From the "who and what" we went to "what and who do you want to be". Once again they amazed me with some of their answers, not because they wanted to be rocket scientists or rock stars but because they answered with such things as "good parents" "good spouse" "have a stable home" etc. At this point we went to what did all this boil down to really wanting. It took them awhile but finally each group was able to identify what they really want out of life is to be happy, which was the point I was trying to make with them from the very beginning.

They thought we were done, their mission was accomplished but I wasn't done with them quite yet. The next step to this...what is one thing they can do in order to find happiness in life. Of course I did get some smart azz answers, which is to be expected *okie won't share she has a few of her own going through her head* from teenagers. However, overall they did not disappoint me. After some discussion and me doing a little leading they were able to understand the main thing that can help them find happiness is to be grateful. Be grateful for the small things in life. I asked them to think throughout the day about being grateful and to report back 3 things they were grateful for during the day. The next group, which was on Tuesday some of them came back with some really good answers and some came back with "nothing, I can't think of anything I am grateful for". Now this concerned me about how some teenagers have never learned to appreciate the people in their lives. I was finally able to get each and everyone of them to report at least one thing they were grateful for and give the reason for feeling grateful.

One of the gals answered "Life, I am grateful for living". This let my mind open more to help them understand. I used this to have them talk about how each day they are alive they have something special....OPPORTUNITY. I tried to have them understand that each day is a new opportunity to make better choices, to realize there are always things and people in our lives in which to be grateful. I know some of the kids were only humoring me but there was one kid who I know it struck a chord. I told them that no matter how bad their home life was they are getting at an age where they have the opportunity to change their course in life with the decisions they make and ultimately hold the power to find true happiness in life. The kid who it seemed to really sink in for nodded his head and in a very serious voice said "that's some powerful shit right there". I had to smile and tell them "yeah it is powerful shit guys. Just think you have the power and the choice on how you want to live your life. If you want to break free of any of the crap that keeps you down and choose that for today you can be who and what you want...and you can be happy".

To be honest I was too lazy to edit some pictures for a blog post and just started typing and this is what came out. It is all true though, and I will be rounding out my groups today talking more about how every day is an opportunity to chose how we want to feel. As for me, I think I will take the opportunity to be grateful for so many things in my life and think of how I am blessed.

So how about you? Will you take the opportunity to be grateful today?


  1. Hi Okie, those kids are so lucky to have you! I start every day thanking God for all of the gifts and blessings in my life. Mostly I'm grateful for the people in my little world. And, I do get up each morning and make the choice to be positive. Takes the guess work out of the way my day will turn out.

    Thanks for sharing this post. hugs, eileen

  2. Ahh, Okie --- I sat down this am with my coffee, took a sip and gave thanks for giving me this perfect day.
    Then I read your blog and smiled. It made my morning even more blessed.
    You are a great mentor.Aren't teens a kick?
    Cheers from Canada

  3. Okie-
    At the ending of "Schindler's List", one of the Jews told Schindler the following: "To save one person is to save the world". What you are doing with those kids will have a ripple effect over the years!

    Thanks for the lesson and I certainly have a lot to be thankful for too!


  4. Okie, I am grateful for the work you put into your blog. I am grateful for being able to visit this site every day, and almost always find a new blog post to read. I know it takes a good chunk of your time to maintain your blog, and I appreciate it. I love reading your insightful, funny, caring blog posts, and seeing your creative work.

  5. I'm grateful for soooo many things! And you are sooo right! Only we can choose which direction we want to go in life.... I had a horrible childhood.... This is very true! But I chose to make my life better by getting out of it and instead of keeping the anger and hate in, I chose to let go of it and my life started on a road to happiness... I got to fall in love with someone.... which probably would not have happened if I stayed angry all the time and dwelled on my past... I was lucky enough to have 3 handsome boys and teach them to respect women and be good people in this world.... NONE of this would have happened if I stayed on that bad path to hate and distruction..... I'm pretty proud of myself for letting go and moving forward... cause if you don't your life is miserable and blaming the people in your life will not help in any way.... YOU CHOSE YOUR PATH no matter what life hands you.... Soooo I'm grateful for soooo many great things life has to offer and has given me.... I'm truly blessed and it all started by finding MY HAPPINESS! :O)
    Those kids are lucky that you're there to help them... I didn't have that help.... I had to learn it on my own.... And I believe as long as 1 of those kids understands what you're teaching them they will be blessed forever by it! Thanks for reminding me to be Grateful! I'm gonna go and give my boys a HUG! :o)

  6. Okie your blog today is very inspiring. I too work with children who have been abused and neglected. I think I will use your lesson and pass it own. Hopefully I will touch one.

    Thanks so much for sharing yourself and your thoughts. I really appreciate and grateful that I found your blog.

  7. Very thought provoking for them. It's so true that its a choice. We have the opportunity to make our own paths and live life to the fullest.

  8. I sure will and do. When I find something I am looking for I always say thank you, When I get something done that I am happy with I say thank you. Just saying thank you to who every is helping me, be it God, My Spirit, and angle on what every, those words remind me that I am Grateful and I really really am.
    I am grateful for your post and that you are teaching this to the children your teach.
    Bless you Okie!

  9. I'm soooo excited to hear someone else say those words!!!! and it is sinking in....we told our children that daily and shared it it with all their friends....and our home became the hang out house...not only that but we included our kids friend in our activities ,off roading, hiking, backpacking what ever we did...and now that our children are grown...that is what they remember what we told son has traveled around the world with his job met presidents,movie stars and has said,his life is fabulous b/c we had in planted in "he could be/do anything he wanted..and another son also got to met producer,movie stars b/c he knew he could do it too..and grafeful is an under statment when it come to our daughter...drs(city of hope) had told her to go home and enjoy her last days... really?? we told her God did not bring her this far to hear a nobody tell her to just go home and die....she was invite to go to Stanfford U but she didn't want to leave her huband and son since she lost so much time away from them (4yrs in hosp-8yrs in & out of hosp)medial records went instead to be studied...oh did I mention, her CA was dx as terminal...grateful b/c OUR God did not give up on us and we did not give up on our children and our children did not give up on life....Thank you Okie for a beautiful ending of the week and a happy beginning to the week-end..
    I luv life and life luvs me :)