Lately there have been a couple of words that have really been floating around and they have stuck with me. I can only be responsible for my own actions, but it is my duty to be an advocate for those that are underrepresented and need someone to hear their voice and then speak out for them. Me, myself, and I, that is all I can be responsible for. But there are a couple “I’s” that I must include to make sure that I am contributing the best self possible. My intentions needs to be:
1. Impactful– power of making a strong, immediate impression
2. Intentional– deliberate; for a purpose
3. Innovative– using or showing new methods or ideas
4. Inclusive– not excluding any particular group of people
Think about it for a minute, anything you have ever decided to be a part of had a strong statement or result in the lives of others, it was for a purpose, you joined because there were ideas on how to improve the current system or method, and it included people from all walks of life. So many times we get involved in an organization or event without really taking hold of how influential “I” can be. I want to make an impact in the lives of youth so that they can understand that their circumstances do not dictate their future plans in life. While it might create obstacles or detours, it is not a definition of who they are. To make an impact, I have to know what my purpose is in their life. My interaction with youth has to be deliberate, not just a bystander of my own personal achievement. The minds of youth are forever acquiring information and ways of interpreting data or experiences, so my approach in deliberately making a strong impression must be creative to keep them interested and hungry for more knowledge and interaction. And finally, I must make it a point not to stereotype or make general statements but to include youth from different ethnicities, socioeconomic statuses, and ages. If I do not take these steps in my approach to advocacy, then how useful am I?
Too many times we feel as though one person can’t change the world, but if more people thought about “Me, Myself, and ‘I’” in their approach to interacting with youth each day, there wouldn’t be a need for one person to change the world, it would be a cultural movement motivated by individual accountability.