Monday, September 10, 2012


My nine year old son and husband assisted for the Young People's Landmark Forum this Friday through Sunday. What that means is they volunteered for three days for almost ten hours a day, to support and cause a course that empowers kids to be leaders in their lives. They may not want to lead others when they come out of the course, but they know what it means to be a leader for themselves in their own life. They are no longer victims of their parents or woe-be-gone because they have to live with their sister...they are no longer fearful of speaking up and expressing themselves or of listening to others. They leave reconnected with their siblings and parents and ready to be responsible in their lives.Whatever was their barrier between them and other people,and what they want in life, is gone.

And my son and husband provided that. Am I proud? Beyond. What matters most though is what they got out of it. I will never know fully what it was, but they do. My son came home Friday after one day of assisting when he was the Taskmaster for the adults and it was as if he had matured a year in a day. He seemed settled inside himself, not like settled like compromised but settled like all the hesitation and concerns that a nine year old might have about what other people think or his brother stealing his stuff or his parents bearing down on him...all those concerns seemed to have settled to the bottom of his being, and what was left was a clear Ben. A clarity and confidence and happiness that is just wonderful to be around....magnetic and joyful.

Being a contribution to other people is what lifts the human spirit beyond survival an into elation.
My son is elated.
Today he was eager to go back to school and to share his Healthy Happy Students voluntary report and presentation to his class. Even though he is in a combo class and half the class is a year older than he, he was confident. Even though he was doing a report that was not assigned, he was eager. Even though he was speaking in front of mostly a class he didn't know on the third day of school, he was proud. The circumstances didn't matter because he was coming from his commitment to make a difference in the world. He is passionate about helping others. This is not normal for a nine year old! Or maybe it is but we parents don't even consider it or encourage it. We assume school is a drag and kids don't really want to learn or do a report for no reason. We think other people will not want a report on how to eat healthy. But they did. He shared about GMO's, gluten/wheat, red food dyes, preservatives and how they can affect kid's health, moods and focus in class.
And the kids said "Wow!" and "OMG!"
The teacher said "That was beautiful! We can tell you are passionate about this!"
When she had to ask them repeatedly to put the flyer he gave out away, and invited them to share it with their parents, I teared up. He was making a difference with 35 families. He shook his head yes twenty times when I asked if he wanted to speak at another school. He is ready to share more. My heart couldn't have been happier for him. My son surprises and inspires me.

All I have to say is if you want your child to be empowered, BE empowered. Do the Landmark Forum. Support them to do it. Assist for it. They may not get what my son got, but they will get what matters to them. They will be able to express it with confidence. They will let go of their fears, contribute to others and light up the world with who they are being. Elated and lifting the spirits of others.
And deep in our hearts, that's all we really want for them.

Zen Honeycutt

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