Month of February

Greenbrier Academy trip to Nicaragua

Our class had an in-depth discussion about how our current American society and new generations are becoming less focused on acts of service. For centuries humans have found ways of connecting with strangers and lending a helping had. Now recently people are less concerned with other people’s common welfare unless it affects them directly. An effect of this is more children are less concerned with reaching out and forming human connections in general. According to statistics, the new “average teenage girl” has anxiety. Social anxiety is getting more and more frequent in the U.S and now with social networking, which was created to bring people closer from long distances, is being used to SnapChat your friend who is right next to you and instead pulling us apart from even those closest to us.

We believe that without human connection, there’s not much value to life. We were created to be in unity with one another.

The service opportunities provided for us at Greenbrier helps us to reach out to those we don’t know and find more of a purpose, greater then ourselves. The sad fact of life is if we didn’t give a little of what we have away, people in other countries and even in our own would starve. America is leading in the “Developed World Child Poverty.” We were blessed and born into our current families by chance and we personally believe that reason is because we can share our blessing with other people who were born under tougher circumstances. Success is a privilege not a right. We are the faces of the next generations and change starts with us. In society we are sending the message it’s better to deal with things alone and other people are the enemies. We are sending the message people are unreliable and bound to let us down and by doing that we are setting unrealistic expectations for mankind. Why would we want people to feel like they’re better off on their own or that they have no choice but to? We don’t because there are people out there who care and love like us. We learned here that mistakes and getting hurt is okay and a way to grow not another reason on why to give up hope.

By interacting with other people you create a transfer of energy from one to another, which forms a connection.

In our acts of service, like the homeless shelter and animal shelters, we get joy by giving others joy. We were lucky enough to have learned to value that connection and it has helped to balance us spiritually. Giving things or acts of kindness without recognition or something in return is important characteristic to our class. It shows us how to give and love from pure care we have in our hearts without needing some sort of gain.

Ways to help “spread the love” so to speak, or encourage others to help others in whatever ways they can are endless.

You can encourage people, neighbors and peers by not shaming them because they aren’t currently doing it but by sharing  an opportunity to do something for someone else. You can demonstrate by example and just spread awareness about a certain cause. In a mall there was a free challenge to lift up 2 heavy gallon buckets and try to walk with them. Most people couldn’t do it and later found out that children had to carry buckets of that same weight for miles just to bring water home for their families. Another way of creating awareness is showing contrast of our country’s current normal to other cultures. Try not to pressure people into helping with a cause and make them feel like it’s an obligation or quilt them into it.

Giving should be out of a loving place not a chore.

Our school has participated in humanitarian acts of service by donating extra shoes, clothing, art supplies, school supplies and bathroom products to children in Nicaragua. We also went to Nicaragua and taught kids how to drum. We shared a little bit of our passion with them. We gave several families food for their families and taught the kids a bible verse in Spanish. We have community service every weekend and most of the girls bring up ideas on how to do it off campus like at the homeless shelter, animal shelter, and green grocer. We currently are working on placing recycling bins around our campus. Our Performance Group goes out and drums for the communities in West Virginia to spread the love. We have several students who go read to the element students. Even just holding the door open or helping clean up for our staff or peers does a lot. We have recently started a school newspaper to help share new perspectives on different things like academic and therapy subjects for our own community at GBA.

What you can do to help make a difference is if you come across any opportunities to do something for someone else, take it!

Something so little could mean so much to someone else.

Help us share the value of caring for other people and value of unity. You could start a conversation with a stranger in the line waiting for your morning coffee instead of watching the clock tick daydreaming. Donate any unwanted items to people or programs who could use them instead of throwing them away. You even could go the extra mile and help someone pick up something that they dropped instead of just going on with current agenda. It doesn’t have to be a huge gesture; people value the little things just as much.

Written By: A.L., S.F., K.K.

GBA Creative Writing Class