Wednesday, September 5, 2007

it's all about character

Watch your thoughts;
they become words.
Watch your words;
they become actions.
Watch your actions;
they become habits.
Watch your habits;
they become character.
Watch your character;
it becomes your destiny.

Frank Outlaw

As you may know, I work in a school cafeteria. The kids are in grades 4th-8th. Not too long ago, I was washing tables before the oldest crowd came in. I mentioned to a co-worker that I saw this poster that had a great quote on it. I thought that we should get a couple and put them at both of our doors where the kids enter the cafeteria. We have been having problems with the kids stealing food not only on our A la Cart side, but on our Main Hot line as well. My co-worker said, "It would not make a difference, they would still steal." I was saddened by this statement. She had lost hope in the kids. I felt that some of these kids just haven't been taught at home between what is wrong and what is right. In another case, I had a boy steal and was just shaking when I talked to him about it. The co-worker also saw this, grabbed him and turned him in to our supervisor at that time,(I always try to talk to the kids before going to our supervisor) my heart just sank at what the outcome might be. He came out of the office and came to me to apologize. He explained that his parents are getting a divorce and it was really tough right now at home.... that he was starving. I had noticed the week before that he indeed had lost weight. I told him, if he just asked me or any of the ladies in the kitchen, we would make sure that he got something. To always ask me as I gave him a hug. I remember just crying after he had left. I then told my co-worker, she can't give up hope with the kids. I know we see a lot with them and it gets frustrating. I believe even if one kid read that poster, waiting in line to get their food, and it had made an impression to last a life time.... it makes all of the difference to me. That child may go out into the world and touch how many lives. You never know where the ripple will end.
My co-worker had tears in her eyes and then gave me a hug.


  1. You go girl! You are absolutely right.
    I was working in the middle school cafeteria, too, for a couple of months and I learned a lot about these kids. Especially the 'troubled' kids they hunger for love and attention! Keep on loving them. Love never fails.

  2. You just have to ask "Where are the parents?" and in almost every case, the parents are not there. Parents miss everything, for the most part, and care less about their offspring and more about their own image. It is sad but 10-12-14 year olds are mugging the elderly, shooting each other and selling dope. Where are the parents?

    Really, some parents should not have children.

    The parents have to be there in their daily lives giving love but they don't.

    If you haven't seen a tomato horn worm loaded with wasp cocoons, then you might want to take a look at my post today.

  3. Here in the UK we are suffering a breakdown in law and order, mainly led by the under 20's. Stabbings and shootings are becoming common. School outfitters are supplying uniforms with anti-stab kevlar linings. Kids are fronting up to the police and attacking patrol cars, fire crews and ambulances. Only Monday night we had to have a couple of teenagers arrested as they indiscriminatedly vandalised cars and threatened staff at a petrol station. The other day I saw a rough looking lad running after an old lady shouting. I was just about to stop the car, when I realised that he was returning an item of shopping that she had inadvertantly dropped. I'd tarred him with the same brush, assumed he was up to no good. Thankyou for reminding us that most kids are good, in future I'll try to give people the benefit of doubt.

  4. beautiful you :) when i was teaching, it was a constants source of frustration to me how some teachers had given up, given up hope towards the young, forgotten that we all need inspiration and trust and belief and that yes small ripples do make a difference and sometimes that difference is huge!!

    i so love you and am so glad you are out there!! xoxoxox

  5. I love the words about character! The story of the boy stealing was touching. I always look at people and wonder what story is behind them. We all carry stories, we should treat one another with love and respect always. Thank you for your inspiring words.

  6. I'd love to give you a hug too. What a wonderful thing to do. I used to be a teacher and know that children are hungry for so many things... You are great for noticing and reacting the way you do. xo

  7. YEAH for you. I'm so glad there are people like you sprinkled throughout schools. God keeps putting wonderful caring people like you in my Liam's school. And I constantly thank him for it. So thank you, God, that you're putting Angela in these kids' lives! Amen.

  8. Good for you! I'm glad, though, that I work in a K-4 school. :)

  9. you have a heart of gold and you
    are right you never know what one
    quote or nice jester might do for them
    i am so proud of you

  10. what an amazing quote!

    Thinking of you