I just listened to a couple of sad stories on This American Life about poor children from the Bronx who were partnered with children of well to do parents at a private school. The children from the low income high school struggled even when they were accepted into college. There was a young man from an abusive family who was approved for a scholarship at a top school and then failed his way out of school, not attending classes, buying books, using the library or asking for help. He even pushed away his high school girl friend, who had also been accepted at college. He talked about believing that he had been raised to be a janitor so that was his greatest enemy. Who is your enemy? Look at yourself.
When I struggled in school, it was never because I didn’t feel I didn’t deserve it. I did have conflicts but my family believed in me and felt I could accomplish something. I have struggled as an adult but even when I had bad jobs I never thought that was all I could do with my life. It does seem from listening to the stories that belief in yourself can be a powerful element in determining what kind of success you have in life. This is far different from the problems facing the people I assist at the case management program.
Their minds continue to send them mixed messages. The voices that one woman hears may be harsh and cruel one day, but then loving and optimistic another day. So which voice do you choose to follow? Some people may think that the voice has some religious meaning. But again there is something interfering with our natural abilities as people, telling us we may or may not deserve something.
I will be there in court on Monday with one person because I believe justice was not done and maybe I can help correct the mistake. This is what people deserve from me. To keep on fighting for them.