Sunday, March 15, 2020

Power of Words

Power of Words

I taught my Power-of-the-Mind class to a group of 5th to 10th grade girls who live in a Housing Projects in Lawrence.    They come from low-income families and many are challenged in their hope for the future.   Some feel totally powerless to their environment of drugs, violence, and poverty.   The first day I met them I had them do this rice experiment.   I had them fill three jars with equal parts of cooked rice.    I labeled them as shown in the picture below.   They were all placed on the Si, Se Puede, an after-school program Director, Lorie Mendoza’s desk.  I asked the girls to come every day and say with passion what was written on the two jars and ignore the third one.    After just one week, yes just 7 days, the results were staggering.   The one jar that was said, “thank you, I love you to”, had no significant change.  The rice still looked fresh and stable.  The one that they said, “You fool, I hope you rot!” to, turned to complete mush.   You couldn’t even tell is was rice.   And the third jar that they ignored all week had large chunks of green mold on the top and bottom of the jar.   This experience was so powerful for these girls.   It showed them that their words not only matter but, they have enough power to affect their environment.   Through this experiment they learned that they do have some control and they can collectively begin to change the world around them.    Their wish now is that every child in Lawrence have the opportunity to learn what they experienced in this class. Their confidence was strengthened enough to asked to meet with the Mayor, Dan Rivera to get his support for this program in the schools. They even wrote letters to Ellen DeGeneres to tell her about what they learned.   

Your words are powerful too.   We live in very divisive times right now but, as these girls have proven, we have the power to make a difference too.   Words and your intention behind the words are powerful.   What words will you choose today?    Fran Spayne –  

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