This week has been insane; like running into my eighth grade science teacher insane. It’s not that often that I liked any of my teachers, and this was one I truly loved and had always wanted to catch up with. I was the student that spent most of my time arguing, or in the office. I hated school, I hated everyone, and most teachers hated me back. I never turned in homework, I spent my time drawing instead of taking notes, if I was dealing with something emotional then I was beyond unfocused on top of already being unfocused. When I went home I was in charge of trying to keep dads house clean, then loading up my sister and I’s belongings to travel back and forth to my mom’s. I was also dancing eight hours a week on top of having no idea that I was dealing with (at the time) an undiagnosed, and fatal lung disease. I was a very unfocused student.
Because of my background, and my responsibility I was an angry kid. If it would not have been for my dad taking care of me, my brother teaching me how to manage my temper (and introduce me to healthy activities and music) and a few awesome teachers here and there, I know exactly where I would be; dead. I was a suicidal mess. Very few good people outside of my family looked past my temper, and showed me a human side to a world that I thought had no humanity. When I decided to start working with kids, that is exactly who I wanted to be too.
I have worked with the most insane kids where a lot of people (including the very little family they did have) were in the process of giving up on them. People hated them, showed them how done they were with them, and did not make any room to treat them like humans. These kids had a lot going on besides bad behavior, and I absolutely loved them. Why? Because I was that kid. There is a lot more story to that horrendous behavior than “I hate school.” When I started working with kids in a different program, I encountered the same thing. We had kids that pushed the limits, caused problems, and I was always with them while everyone else talked shit. “I don’t know how you do it, they are problem causers, they act horrible.” You know what else? They are awesome. They are some of the best kids, and people I have ever met. Why do I say that? Because I chose to be a human with them. Because I chose to show them consistency. Because I chose to show them humanity. Because I chose love, over what everyone else has ever given them. And you wonder why they act the way they do?
When I hear about these types of kids not being invited into people’s homes, or certain events because “they don’t want them in their Christian household” I could literally fire off, and orbit. You just put them where the rest of society has, and now what will happen? You have no idea why they need to come into your home, and you will never know because you do not choose love. You will never be the face of understanding, love, and acceptance despite what religion you boast about. After hearing about incidents like this, this is why I chose to write about this today.
People need humanity, more than they will ever need “rules.” Because of the kids I chose to talk to, and treat like they were human, I had wonderful relationships with them. I hope I inspired them to make better decisions, not by just telling them that, but by showing them what good decisions look like, and what a person who truly cares about another person looks like. Open your home to the bad kids, because there IS a good kid in there somewhere. A good kid who can learn from your love.