West Valley Learns to Keep Calm and Be Amazing – “I’m Amazing” Night
With the election in the back of a lot of minds, and results starting to come in which played into many youth’s fears and vulnerability, it seemed a perfect night to focus on the positive qualities of others and recognize them. one•n•ten West Valley was helmed by the marvelous captain of Mesa group; Lora Pirie as the topic of the evening was: “I’m Amazing!” The group in attendance was led through an icebreaker where they identified something they found awesome, amazing or inspiring. The discussion started with personal definitions of what amazing means; be it going above and beyond, something outstanding, extraordinary, significant, or otherwise makes one stand out were among the definitions called out. Lora then asked the group how one feels when they have been called amazing by someone else. Answers varied from happy to disbelief and moved to having each person identify something that they see in themselves that makes them amazing.
Folks responded with a mix of qualities such as being empathetic and caring for others; going to the extra mile; being able to connect with others; being good at one’s job; being able to balance work, school, and life; and being adaptable. Lora then asked the group by a show of hands who didn’t think they were amazing, or know what they were going to say when it was their turn to speak. While several hands shot up, there were just as many that were raised when asked if they recognized others for being awesome or amazing. With everyday stresses it becomes difficult to recognize others for being amazing, and even more so to see such qualities in oneself which only becomes more difficult when one is a part of the LGBT community due facing daily attitudes that imply otherwise. Everyone was challenged to remember that they are indeed amazing, and for more than what was shared in group.
The evening closed with the challenge to everyone to remember why they are amazing on a daily basis, and to recognize someone else for being amazing as it could truly be a life changing experience for both.
*This writer would like to not only recognize the amazing youth staff and volunteers of one•n•ten, but would like to recognize the wonderful people of Maine, Maryland, and Washington State for voting for same-sex marriage, and to the equally remarkable people of Minnesota for voting against their discriminatory marriage amendment.