Not in jail

One simple sentence can change our world – the way we see it, what we think about.

This happened to me at work. I work with teenagers who I happen to think are wonderful. Challenging sometimes, but I enjoy their company. They come to my room in the high school when they’re either sent from class for a single period or removed from classes for a full day. Yep, basically I supervise the ‘time out’ room. Some see these kids as the trouble makers. Some of them do make trouble. But I see real characters. I do tell them they are the most interesting kids in the school.

photo credit: Sifter cc

One sentence from a student hit me right between the eyes. It was the written response to the worksheet question ‘where would you like your life to lead’?

The answer: Not in jail.

In reading that, I was so sad. I immediately saw my own children with big dreams and infinite possibilities in front of them. Dreams we encourage – hopefully we model that life is what we make of it. Dreams of travelling, teaching, joining the Navy, going to University, becoming a police officer or a lawyer or a pastor or a singer. These are possibilities that they will have every opportunity to explore.

In comparison to a beautiful child who has only the hope that she wont follow the path of, I can only assume, her own family members.

This is wrong. It frustrates me no end that so many people, and now I’m not just talking about children, go through life not even knowing the amazing possibilities that are open to them. Not knowing that they have choices. Not knowing that there is always hope. One day, any day, THIS day, can be a game changer. NOW is the time to start something new, even if just to start dreaming a new dream.

What would your children say if asked ‘where would you like your life to lead’?



7 thoughts on “Not in jail”

  1. Our youngest just said that he would like to design video games for a living. I also work with children and I see how some already have no hope for the future. It is painful to watch. I usually get along with the “trouble makers” the best. They see that I understand them. Sometimes I feel that I am the only person who is nice to them in their entire day.


    1. I can relate to that, feeling like the nice one in their day. I genuinely like these kids. When they walk into my room, I don’t care what they’ve done, they all get a hello, a smile, and a ‘how are you doing’. And we take it from there. I’ve had some pretty cool conversations, I just wish I could make more of a difference but am bound by school policy.


      1. Sometimes I feel like their just having someone smile at them is a huge part of their day. Last year I had one boy that would always come to me upset and leave smiling. He understood that around me he could just be himself and would relax a little. Another one shook my hand at the end of the year and thanked me for always being nice to him. He was moving on to another building.

        It is good that they have you as a part of their day when nothing else seems to be going right for them. They notice I’m sure of it.


  2. I asked my daughter once, she told me that she would like to become fairy.. ughhhh too much watching fairies.. So i decided to spend more time this past few months to guide her.


    1. My daughter, as well as wanting to be a Pastor, a singer, a judge, a zookeeper, also wants to be a real life Princess. I’ve suggested she keeps it as the back up plan 😉


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