To care can move mountains
The Corona crisis has hit many vulnerable youth that do not have a safe and positive family platform around them.
For many of these, school is a “free spot” and the class and teachers are their “family”. I want to tell a story from my time as a MOT coach that confirms this.
I got to know “Erik” when he was in secondary school. Erik would probably be the type that today could have destroyed himself and others, if it hasn’t been for the school, his class and teachers. Today, Erik masters his life – against all odds. He is 31 years old and a craftsman. Erik was demanding in the classroom. Almost always uneasy, BUT almost always cheerful. Two in his class, “Liv” and “Brage”, was very good at being generous at the same time as they set boundaries. They were great at building him up. Here Liv tells her story:
Visualize a creative, living, caring and nice boy. One who loves to get others to smile, who has so much energy that he doesn’t know where to place it all. Then, visualize a boy that no one believes in. A boy who lives with his grandma, who lost his dad when he was 2-3 years old from an overdose. Where his mum and stephdad abuse alcohol and drugs, who have lost the custody to the boy.
This is Erik. A great guy – but with a difficult starting point. In the class he was great to have, but at the same time he made a lot of noise.
My class was seen as a problem class. Luckily, we got two MOTy teachers. Through MOT, they got our ability strengthened to see the great things about Erik – before we saw all the challenges he gave us.
One night, Erik’s grandmother ended up at the hospital. I think Erik just freaked out that evening, and Erik and his gang ended up breaking a great deal of windows and computers at our school. The police was involved.
In the school hallway the next days, glances were sent, people were talking, and there was a negative mood against Erik. When our teacher came into the classroom, we expected an angry speech. Instead she said: “Now, you shall safeguard Erik. You shall not let anyone talk bad about him. You shall show him that you are still his class. Because why do you think Erik comes to school every day? No one nags him to get up in the morning or gets angry if he skips class. Why do you think he still shows up?
MOT and my teachers taught me that we are always something for someone. And trough Erik we learned that we could mean a LOT. The message my teacher ended with, was that we had to look after that Erik showed up every day, even though he didn’t have to, because it was only at school he was a part of something.
To care can move mountains. At least save lives.
For Erik, the school was a free spot, and the class and teachers were like his family, and they embraced him.
«The child who is not embraced by the village will burn it down to feel it’s warmth.» – African proverb.