What do children in foster care need? Hope! Social workers, foster parents and other child welfare professionals need to activate their hope button. There is a four letter word that is woven into the fabric of my soul, and that word is HOPE. Having a purpose in life encourages self-determination. It all starts with a belief, an idea that can create a powerful destiny. The seed of hope is planted deep within you. If you water that seed, energy will be created. Energy creates motion, motion creates action, action creates results, results create achievement, achievement creates self-confidence, and self confidence creates the mindset that you can and will achieve anything you desire.
Through hope, we can conquer our fears and turn a life of tragedy into a life of triumph, a mess into a message and a test into a testimony. I have found that there are times when my hope button would not activate; here is how I turned on hope. I changed my state of mind from selfish to selfless, from “poor me” to helping someone else who is in the middle of their big challenge. Your selfless time engaged in someone’s life battle could kick start hope within them and start a chain of positive energy. Hope is contagious!
I came up with this wonderful acronym for hope. Helping One Person Everyday. Helping others succeed brings so much hope and meaning into your life. It is amazing that when you give of yourself, it fills you up as well and provides you with the strength to conquer all of life’s obstacles.
Here is a real life example of sharing some H.O.P.E. As a motivational speaker, I travel a lot and meet so many wonderful and hurt people. Recently, I was waiting for my flight and I see a prisoner in handcuffs sit right in front of me with 2 government officials escorting him. I noticed that other passengers quickly moved seats to get away from him. I can understand that they were scared. I happened to be sitting right in front of him and we made eye contact and now I felt weird moving. I could see that he was expecting me to move as well but I stayed. He had lots of tattoos all over his arms and neck. Our eyes made contact again, so I said “what are you in for?” The men escorting him were surprised that I was talking to their prisoner. He said was in for assault and stealing cars.
We talked about his life and how he’s been in and out of prison since 1999. I asked him if he had any kids and then you could see the hardness of him melt with emotion. He said he yes but he doesn’t get to see them much. I then talked about my life growing up in foster care and why my dad was in prison. I told him that I have children and that I am trying hard to pass on generational blessings and not generation curses to my children. It was a great conversation, eye to eye and man to man. When it was time to board his flight, he stood up and with his shackled hands, he reached out and shook my hand and thanked me for taking the time to talk to him. I spoke with emotion and faith into that man that day to be there for his children and to not pass on generational curses. I wanted him to know that his children are paying the price for his mistakes and sometimes it will follow them throughout their life.
It is never too late to start making the right choice. I’m glad that I took the time to speak to him. You never know the difference you can make in a person’s life. Be bold, compassionate and a H.O.P.E. Dealer – H.O.P.E. Helping One Person Everyday!
– Derek Clark, Motivational Speaker, Keynote Speaker for Foster Care Conferences, Social Worker Conferences, Child Welfare Conferences, Foster Parent and Adoptive Parent Conferences, Child Abuse and Neglect Conferences. Derek is the author of Never Limit Your Life, I Will Never Give Up book series and Disable the Label.