What does an ice cream cone and a Mozart Symphony have in common?
Happiness, of course.
Here we discover people's views of, and experiences with, happiness... then we see how they relate. It's like one Rock with a thousand different angles. We see different sides, but it all stems from the same source.
"I smoke pot because it expands my mind." - YW (Anasazi youth- youngwalker)
(all of this information is through the perspective of the person interviewed, circumstances may be different than described, but they could also be exactly as he said)
YW grew up in an unstable environment, just him and his mom. She let the responsibility of raising YW fall upon her parents, or YW's grandparents. When she did come around she played more of a "friend" role instead of a parent."I just want my mom to actually be my mom... When I have kids I'm going to give them the discipline I never had."
YW has joined a few gangs and is currently in one that resembles the Skin Heads. "I can't get out of it because they'll kill me. The only thing I could do would be to move, but we don't have enough money for that." He said the two most important things to him are his "brotherhood, number one and (his) girlfriend, for sure."
"What if I don't want to change?" is a question he asked in response to another.
I asked YW if he'd ever felt JOY in his life before. He answered "yes" and proceeded to tell me what two things had brought it to him. After hearing his answers initially I wondered if I should have defined JOY better... after hearing his reasoning behind his answers, however, I believe he knew exactly what I was asking.
"Doing drugs and my girlfriend," was his answer.
"...she gives me hope, faith, she makes me laugh. I've cried over her and fought for her. She's always been there. I'm emotionally attached. She helped me with mistakes... It's good to know you have someone at the end of the day.
"Drugs destroyed all worries and made me happy. I was my own person. But it makes you a monster after a while and you can't live with that. But I did it because it destroyed my problems. I go through withdrawals and the physical problems of it because I want the positive."
His desires were pure. Who doesn't want to have faith, hope, to be cared for and to be happy? He only is aware of a few ways, however, that will bring about those desired ends (however temporary and unreal those feelings may be). I think we can all agree that there are much more positive ways to bring about those ends. Ways that might actually make those feelings of faith and happiness stay in your life. We can all see that what he wants is positive, but his actions are negative.
He doesn't know exactly what the rock is, but he knows what it represents and he wants it.
This past week might have been the best week of my entire life.
Fun. Love. Laughter. Progress.
The week prior, this particular group of boys had a very difficult time. Hard hike, hard staff, hard individual trials, etc., etc.
"I think last week was the hardest week of probably my entire life."- Young Walker
We decided that FUN was the only solution.
Lots of good quotes came from what became, the week of nonstop laughter. Here are a few with some background information...
One young walker during fire circle had his little bag of tang out and was dipping the wooden spoon into it, then back into his mouth (the young walkers like to do this till their tongues bleed). It was dark outside and all of a sudden we see him lean forward and start spitting something out of his mouth. Turns out he missed his bag of tang and got a spoon full of sand. This quote followed shortly thereafter:
"The only reason Jesus turned water into wine is because He didn't have sand to turn into tang."
This is just a good reminder of what necessities really are: "I'd do anything for a trashcan fire right now."
A young walker requested a Book of Mormon from his shadow (therapist). His parents are not LDS and really didn't think he would receive one. He decided if they didn't give him one he would ask for the Satanic bible.
"Well" he said, concluding the conversation, "I'll either be storing food in the basement or making crop circles in the backyard."
All around a good week :)
Not only was it hilarious, but a very effective week out on the trail. Every single boy in the band made outstanding progress. Challenges were accepted and acted upon, personal concerns were brought up and discussed, acceptance of and a desire to lift one another in the band became a priority, and the purpose of ANASAZI (to turn hearts homeward and eyes upward) remained the focus.