Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Unspoiled Perspective

I spent the day yesterday at Drama Camp with about 16 kids ranging from 3rd to 7th grade. I love Drama Camp because it's a great opportunity to play and be silly while calling it acting.

The theme of the Camp was "Question", so all of our activities revolved around questions. This was a great topic and wide open for interpretation in teaching theater skills. I led two mini workshops....one on improvisation where we all had to communicate by asking questions only. It's very fun...you should try it.

My other workshop, that inspired this blog, began by my asking the kids to answer the question "Who are you?" without describing themselves by their name, age, family status or by the things they like to do. This is a question that my partner and I pose to adults in our JOY of NOW workshop. It typically stumps most adults since most people tend to assess their identity by what they do and have a hard time identifying who they be.

What was absolutely delightful yesterday was that the kids were able to answer the question without much prodding or help. Their perspective of themselves was unspoiled. They freely described who they each were without any signs of embarrassment. There was no comparing or apparent difficulty in speaking of themselves in a positive way. Each child was able to "own" the gifts they possess.

In my work with two different groups separated in age groups, I did notice the youngest kids were able to share a bit more freely than the older group. Perhaps the preteens have already begun to doubt the natural gifts that make them unique.

My hope is that these kids will remember who they are as they continue to mature. I hope that if someone criticizes them they will know even if they made a mistake, who they are is still amazing. I hope they will always be able to own their gifts without embarrassment or comparison. I hope their hearts and minds will remain unspoiled.

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