PASEO Program Adventure- Day 6: Huanchaco y El Porvenir, Peru

This morning began with a class on Motivational Interviewing in Spanish. Motivational Interviewing is a style of counseling that focuses on trying to motivate clients to achieve change on their own terms. It makes sense when you think about it. If someone tells or forces you to change an existing habit, odds are, you likely won’t change. But if can attain some sort of intrinsic motivation to make a change, the outcome will be much more significant. (Keep that in mind the next time you tell a loved one they need to change an existing behavior.) 

The afternoon was spent in El Porvenir at a different school doing more observations. Many of the kids come from families whose parents are in gangs and/or commit serious crimes. Other kids come from families who have neglected them, which often times affects their behaviors in the classroom. Some of the teachers believe that this is the biggest barrier in the classroom setting, which is difficult, to say the least, because how do you make such a large systemic change in such a short amount of time? Then again, I’m sure plenty of people across the globe are asking the same question.  

One positive note is that any time a student wants to speak in front of the class, he or she has to stand up, which helps foster public speaking skills and a greater level of confidence (as uncomfortable as it is). And anytime an adult walks into the classroom, all of the students stand up to show their respect. Students are also expected to participate in school events such as plays and historical reinactments throughout the school year, which helps them learn to work alongside one another. Something that was also nice to see was a small garden, created and cared for by some of the students. Anytime you plant a seed of any kind, it’s only a matter of time before it blossoms into something worthwhile. 

While there is definitely work to be done, it’s refreshing to see small acts of kindness at a young age that will hopefully add up to help these children find a different path in life than the path that many of their family members have taken. 

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Simple Quote Sunday

Similar to what I mentioned yesterday, at the beginning of the year, I set out to find noteworthy quotes to share with my readers every Sunday throughout 2015. My hope was that if one quote resonated with just one person, maybe that individual could be inspired to go on and achieve greatness.

It only takes a single spark to ignite a burning passion within a person. If that spark could be lit by memorable words of past and present leading figures of society, by all means, we should run with such words and begin to pave our paths towards greatness. With that being said, I would like to conclude 2015 with the following quote:

“There is no passion to be found playing small—in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
-Nelson Mandela

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Nelson Mandela

Fighting For A Cause

I recently returned home from a trip I took to Boston, MA this past weekend. During my vacation, I did some traveling and saw various historical sights including Paul Revere’s house, the Old Corner Bookstore, the Old South Meeting House, and many other landmarks along the Freedom Trail. While sightseeing, the only thing I could think of was the countless numbers of people who fought for a cause to get us to where we are today.

We each have an agenda in our lives and some kind of goal we wish to accomplish within the next month, year, five years, decade, and so on. No one can push us in the direction of accomplishing our hopes and dreams, for we have to motivate ourselves to get to that point of accomplishment. This isn’t like elementary school anymore where your mom constantly hounds you to complete your schoolwork; this is the real thing. If there is something you would like to achieve, make sure you do so, because before you know it, time will be running out and regret is one of the worst things one can have on his or her conscience. Make your fight worth fighting for and know that many great people of the past have fought for what they believed in, so why don’t you? Achieve all that you set out to do and accomplish each and every one of your goals. Of course it may be easier said than done, but what’s the purpose of life if you don’t try to be the best you can and set out to achieve all that you wish for?

Enjoy the Ride

I just finished watching an old movie based off the fate of the main character, and in the movie, the main character’s life is practically determined by whether or not she catches a train. We see what happens when she does in fact catch the train, and when she misses it, but the point being, it was all about fate.

In life, things tend to happen to us and those around us at times when we least expect them. Most of these occurrences cannot be prevented so many of us like to call these things fate. Well, at least only the good occurrences. For example, you’ll hear people constantly say, “It was fate that brought us together.” Or, “It was fate that I was at this particular place at this time.” However, you never really hear people use the word fate when it comes to negative situations. But whether you like to believe that everything happens for a reason, or that something good comes along after every time something bad occurs, there is a bigger point to be made here.

Not everything in life can be planned, scheduled, pre-determined, arranged, or any other word with the same meaning. Things are going to happen to us and to those around us, and sometimes it will be good and other times it unfortunately won’t be. So where does that leave us, you may ask.

We cannot control everything that happens in this world, but we can make the best of what we have been given. Let life run its course, as it is going to, but in the process of doing so, live it to the fullest. Do everything you want, and achieve all that you wish to accomplish. Who knows where fate or life may take us tomorrow, so for today, you might at well enjoy the ride.