Are You A Pusher?

 There are powers inside of you which, if you could discover and use, would make of you everything you ever dreamed or imagined you could become.” Orison Swett Marsden

OOooo Are You A Pusher?

In the fast pace world we live in, it’s easy to forget how important it is to step outside of our circle of family, friends, and colleagues to mentor kids and young people who are more vulnerable to falling through the cracks. Organizations like The Boys and Girls Club of America have had a significant positive impact on millions of childrens’ lives, especially those in need, for over 150 years.

Their mission reads: To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.

When cleaning out my files recently, I came across a note written to me from a young woman who participated in a motivational program for inner city Philadelphia elementary school children that I initiated years ago called Shooting For The Stars.

This is some of what she wrote:

“I don’t know if you would remember me or not. I was involved in a program you ran called Shooting For The Stars.

I know you may say that was over seven years ago, so why is she writing me? It’s because you made an indelible impression in my life.At times I seem to reflect on how you and the program helped me along.

At school I was teased a lot and didn’t have many friends. The program gave me something to look forward to each week. I enjoyed going on field trips and seeing different things and learning a lot more.

You also seemed to have time for me when I looked sad and asked what was the matter. When we were planning to put on the play West Side Story, you sat with us and made an effort to make sure we were all involved including me because I was so shy and quiet.

I remember visiting your home and having the best time – spending the day making a meal and exploring your beautiful garden. You will be happy to know I graduated from high school and am planning on attending Community College in the fall. It certainly has been a long time but I have never forgotten you.

Thank you so much for being one of the people I call my pushers. People who pushed me, pushed me to do more and be more and learn. For that I will never forget you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.”

This young woman was one of over 120 students I worked with each semester. The truth is that the amount of time I spent with her individually was not a lot. But it was the message that the program and I conveyed to her. There’s no magic to being a pusher. All it takes is belief in a young person, a consistent message, and the desire to be present for them.

8 Messages of Pushers

You are a unique human being with gifts that need to be shared with the world.

Work hard and be persistent.

Work at being curious.

When you have a question, ask. There are no stupid questions.

Open yourself up to new opportunities.

Find things you love doing and that make you happy.

I care about and believe in you. I am here to support and guide you.

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN. Are you a pusher? If so, please share your story.

About Fran

Fran’s book, Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, now considered a classic, was groundbreaking when published as no one had written about gardening in the context of creativity, spirituality, and transformation.

In addition to being a recognized garden expert and deep ecologist, Fran is also a broadcaster, journalist, Ordained Interfaith Minister, and Soul Tender. All of her work is based on her deep belief that our need to connect to the earth is an inherent trait – and that by doing so, we heal and experience more joy in our lives.

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4 Responses to Are You A Pusher?

  1. Balroop Singh July 11, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    Hi Fran,

    I have some caring students who send such messages to me through Facebook how I had added some energy, enthusiasm and glow to their lives by being a pusher but this article reminds me of one of my students who wrote a letter to me – long after he had left school due to some religious and cultural pressures – saying how my support and encouragement had helped him through tough times and that he was thankful for that.

    It is very fulfilling to work with children and such youngsters who carry deep impressions in their psyche long after they have left school re-emphasises the belief that love, care and kindness in whatever form it is given, always comes back.
    Thanks for sharing lovely thoughts!

  2. N'ann Harp July 12, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

    Thanks Fran &, Balroop Singh, for the stories of looping gratitude.

    Hadn’t thought of it as ‘pushing’ …

    But I’ve been passing along kindnesses that were offered to me during my own teenage years by adults other than my parents.

    Particularly the one of encouraging young people I know to start practicing compassion, patience and forgiveness sooner rather than later. Parents often being the first who may need it. We do not know what others have gone through. Those simple insights – suggestions of non-judgement by a teacher and an aunt – helped accelerate my path into adulthood and spared me considerable anger and grief.

    Case in point: Just within the past two weeks I have received heartfelt thanks from two young people – a brother and sister/nephew and niece – independently and unbeknownst to each other, that my light heart, ‘Forgive ‘em and let it go’ attitude was freeing them in ways they hadn’t experienced from connections with any other adult.

    They both expressed gratitude and huge relief for being helped to find that energy/place inside them that’s existed all along (they realized in hindsight) … but which hadn’t been triggered until our casual, confidential, now-and-then in passing conversations reminded them. Major head-shaking shifts in both of them – like ‘Wow. I didn’t see that coming. Cool.” They stand calmer and smile (almost winking) each time I see them.

    I experience their gratitude as a wavelength and a surge of healing energy … looking for its next opportunity:)

    • Fran July 21, 2014 at 6:25 pm #

      N’ann – I have been off the website for the past week but was delighted to see your thoughts here. I concur 100%. From one bee lover to another, love and kindness are the answers. With gratitude- Fran

  3. Christopher James August 22, 2014 at 2:16 pm #

    I guess that makes me a pusher.

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