Monday, June 16, 2008

Random Acts of Youth Work

Just in case you can't read my writing...and to explain. I presented my dissertation also on the back of a napkin and here are some of the references...

All Anne Herbert needed was a napkin to write her philosophy of life: ‘Practice random kindness and acts of senseless beauty’ (Atkinson 2004). This is where such philosophies come from, the informal settings like that of youth work where we don’t seek to begin our relationships with young people at a formal meeting with a filing cabinet of documents between us but perhaps at a meal with napkins and conversations between us.This phrase jotted down on a paper napkin in a Sausalito restaurant was seen by a man sitting nearby who liked it and copied it down and the ‘slogan began to spread, as slogans do, and eventually it appeared on bumper stickers, business cards, coffee mugs, in newspaper and magazine articles, and taped to peoples' refrigerators’ (Atkinson, 2004)

From a Sermon with Reverend Atkinson (2004)

”The word "kind" comes from the Old English "gecynde." It was a noun meaning one's ancestor or offspring, and it is related to the words "kin," "kinship" and "kindred." It eventually came to be used also as an adjective, and eventually took on the meanings "good-natured, generous, gentle, bearing good will, having consideration for others and being willing to assist others." Kindness is an act, whether it be random or not, in which we treat another as we would treat our close kin, it is an act of generosity which expands the circle of caring, recognizing that in fact we are all kin.”

Kind hearts are the gardens,
Kind thoughts are the roots,
Kind words are the flowers,
Kind deeds are the fruits.

Take care of your garden
And keep out the weeds,
Fill it with sunshine,
Kind words and kind deeds.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American Poet, Educator, and Linguist



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