Americans say “Time flies when we are having fun”, I do agree with it. Another week has gone and I can’t believe that we only have 3 more weeks in USA. The study tour to Western Nebraska this week was such an eye-opening experience for me especially on how people encourage others to live better lives.
Our first destination was Community Action Partnership Western Nebraska – Youth Center that offers innovative programming ranging from prevention to intervention and aftercare based in a trauma informed philosophy. From the very first step into the center, I was strongly impressed by every single quote on the walls like “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” or “You can’t live a positive life with negative thoughts.”. My great impression was continually made by a lot more positive words shown at Northfield Elementary School and Gering High School such as “It is impossible to live without falling at something.” or “Be a buddy, not a bully!”.
Looking back, I asked myself whether there was a hidden meaning behind these words or they just spoke what they were supposed to do. Undoubtedly, they were indeed much more than that. They told me about how great encouragement was to give others support, confidence and hope. Thinking about civic engagement and community development, I found it strongly important to encourage community members by positive words. No matter what happens, no problem is too big, and hope is always there. Thus, why don’t we start today by a smile, hopeful conversation or motivating words to each other? Encouraging to make positive changes, together solve our own issues, fully reach our potentials and live healthier lives. Why not?
(Luong – Pham Thi Phuong Luong)