Thursday, April 21, 2011

How Are The Children?

The question, “How are the children?” is a part of the Maasai greeting. This simple greeting puts everything in perspective and clearly indicates what this culture values as important—the kids. We have started asking this question at the beginning and end of the after-school program. The intent of the after-school program should be that each and every student will end the day in a stronger position than when they came in. It is an interesting question and takes some thinking in the beginning—probably the first week or so, to provide a meaningful answer to that question.

To magnify the impact of this question, try probing for deeper understanding by asking, “What’s important about that?” For example, when asking the question, “How are the children?’ a couple of weeks ago, the dialog went something like this:

Question: “How are the children?”

Response: “The children are well and learning important things.”

Question: “What is important about the children learning important things?’

Response: “It is important that children are learning important things because it helps them understand the world around them.”

Question: “What is important about children understanding the world around them?”

Response: “It helps them to know how to maneuver in the world when they understand it better?”

Question: “What is important about knowing how to maneuver in the world?”

Response: “When you know how to maneuver in the world you are more likely to recognize your own potential because you can find your way more clearly.”

Question: “What is important about recognizing your potential?”

Response: “Recognizing your potential allows you to be you, who you were born to be, and when you are in your ‘wheelhouse’ then you are happy and fulfilled and can act as a positive role model for others.

So the answer to the question, “How are the children?” is really more than simply they are well. The children are unleashing the amazing potential that is inside them and they will likely be happy and fulfilled.

When you stop to think about it, what could be better than that?

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