When was the last time you went to a holiday social gathering and walked away sober, intellectually intact, motivated, and self-assured you were in the driver’s seat of self-improvement? For me, it was a week ago when involved family members, and the children they passionately support, assembled for an ‘impromptu’ get-together. This exceptional experience has left me hoping that there were many more of such events around the country – and the world – at a time when we celebrate peace, love and goodwill to all men.
It was the thought of maintaining a strong bond with the people we serve through participation in meaningful ways, that caused us to press on with the idea of reaching out to parents and students who have participated in Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.‘s workshops as a holiday activity – with only a week’s advance notice.
I had no idea who would want to show up and for what reason they would want to do so – or even what good reason they would have to stay away. My faith in mankind and determination to implement creative ways to form critical partnerships and identify the needs of those we serve was more in focus than the “what if?”, failure-bound, second-guessing position that can occasionally sneak up on people and overpower them.
I am writing this post to shine the spotlight on a remarkable cadre of people who joined us for a casual get-together that was clearly driven by openness to personal and social enrichment that Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. has gained a reputation for providing. I know better than to entertain the thought that, by virtue of their association with the organization, this stellar group of people navigated the evening by giving back to us what we have given to them in the past. My educated guess is that students, parents, grandparents, grand aunts and community leaders who are on a mission, showed up to bring to the table the unique gifts they possess that they recognize are vital to the existence and good health of the organization. I thank you for being an integral part of this vision. To those well-wishers, parents and volunteers who could not join us for this family gathering, we acknowledge your importance in this equation and hope to see you soon. Thank you for your support.
Below are highlights of some of the lessons taught by and learned from our insightful youth at what turned out to be an evening which embodied the elements of a lesson plan for Social Gathering 101.
1. HARMONY– people coming together for a purpose and a reason. Strength in life to come together for a purpose; strength to press forward; togetherness; connecting the dots (harmony-love-joy-pride, etc.). We need love to bring harmony, we need courage to go on a journey
2. JOURNEY – steps which are part of our successes and failures
3. LOVE – found in a society among each other; giving back; charity
4. JOY – people need joy; giving to the needy; giving joy to others; everything you give – — your love is joy.
5. HONOR – self respect; high self-esteem
6. SELF – self-worth; how you value yourself as a person
7. PRIDE – don’t let others knock your confidence down
8. ENDURANCE – a lot of goals; a lot of work, projects; in bettering yourself for a purpose; not knowing where I am going; excited
9. DETERMINATION – calls for repetition until you get perfection
10. TIME – we don’t have enough time to do all we need to do but we must make time to be with people who support us – “Putting time in perspective”
11. COURAGE – to go to school away and be by myself – To find myself; do what I have to do. “I like that word. Parents need to develop courage too.”
What a Creative Empowerment Arts Contest Donor had to say: “Your journey is about connecting the dots to a “higher being.” It’s important to be you. Your steps are woven blessings on your path; they are your stepping-stones to your future. Your journey never ends. It’s an investment in who you are and will become. Whether you are soft-spoken or out-spoken, “believe in yourself” and as a donor, I’ll believe in you and me. -Florence Bell-
Please click on this link to make a difference in the lives of the youth and families we serve.
Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation that educates and empowers children, adolescents and parents of both secular and faith-based communities in the Long Island area, through the use of art, fashion and culture as mechanisms to improve interpersonal relationships; to avoid pitfalls that are unique to life in the 21st Century; and to specifically identify and effectively develop healthy problem-solving, enhance personal development and increase cultural sensitivity.
For updates on current and upcoming activities: www.creativeempowermentarts.org www.yourtime4liny.org