This past week I started my placement for my service-learning course – Project Outreach. I am working with a group of adolescents at a youth residential detention and treatment center in a nearby county. We are working with an organization called Youth Arts Alliance! and during our first workshop, we did an activity we called “Because I said so.”
We each had four slips of paper that we wrote down 4 goals/dreams/etc. with each sentence ending with “because I said so.” I wrote down four things nonchalantly, not really knowing how serious the kids would take the activity. After we all grabbed four random slips of paper out of the bucket to read aloud to the group, I was absolutely blown away by the things I was hearing.
“I will get a bachelor’s degree and become a business owner…because I said so.”
“I will be a better sister – because she deserves more than this…because I said so.”
“I will get out of here and make a life for myself…because I said so.”
“I will be better – for myself, my family and my future…because I said so.
So, forgetting the simple things I wrote – something about college, traveling and getting a dog – I thought I should re-evaluate what I would do because I said so…so here we go.
I will do what I love because I said so.
I won’t let people tell me what I cannot accomplish, because I said so.
I will take care of myself, because I said so.
I will learn how to say “no” when I need to say “no,” because I said so.
I will be spontaneous, because I said so.
I will be happy, because I said so.
So, to this group of kids who stole my heart after only an hour together – I will do these things because I said so, and because you believed in me. And you can do the things you said – you will go back home and be so successful and happy, because I believe in you and you believe in yourself. I know you do.