At KenCrest, we strive to help our communities do their best by exploring possibilities, mobilizing our resources, and empowering dreams. To do so, we need to be ever mindful of the personal biases that may deter us from making that happen.
Recently a colleague mentioned that one of the folks in a group home was ‘up in years’ now, and that perhaps he would not make a good candidate for a setting with less structure or supervision.
I was immediately dismayed, we cannot judge someone by their age; we must always see them through the lenses of their dreams and their abilities. Two stories came to mind:
The first was the life of my friend Carl. He left an institutional setting for a place of his own when he was in his 60s, and lived with minimal support until he passed away in his mid-80s. You can read Carl’s story here. He lived a full life filled with friends, work, church, pets, and family.
The second story is mine; I never imagined that I would run a marathon. Running was new to me; just a few years ago in 2013 I joined the Galloway Group, and the leaders and my fellow runners helped me stretch my expectations. I started in a ‘couch to 5K’ program; essentially those programs get you off the couch to run 3.1 miles. Once I saw that I could do that, I set a new goal for 6.2, then a goal for 13.1, and then a goal for a marathon—26.2 miles. I am not fast but 26.2 miles is far. This month, I completed my second marathon! I was one year older and five minutes faster!
As long as we are living we can have dreams. We can be inspired by others who see our potential; and we can train, practice, receive support, and make our dreams come true. We can imagine an accomplishment that sometimes seems unlikely to others.
Our “why” needs to be based on an unrelenting belief in the human spirit. We need to always be looking to other people’s experiences, to medicine, to technology, and to science; we need to always be learning. We are—as my Dad says, “above the green;” and we need to live with hope and expectations.
Over the next few weeks, this blog will be filled with stories to help you not only enjoy this holiday season, but embrace it as a season of hope and expectations.