Before I start today's little rant, I want to do a quick shout out to the man known as Purple Terry. After my post, that basically called the man out, Terry has been rather consistent on bringing the blog action. All of the new blogs by Purple Terry have been absolutely entertaining. I enjoy his stuff and you all should give him a gander. He's a friend, that alone should speak volumes for his entertainment value. Check out my blog links and he is under 'This Guy Updates!!!'
Now, back to our regular scheduled bloggging. The last two groups that have come in, have been a rather interesting bunch. Both are almost exact opposites yet have one major similarity. The one group was about 63 cadets that aged from 12 years old to about 18 years old. Most of the older kids where highly ranked such as Sargent. The other group that just came in this weekend, got mention in yesterday's blog, was about 32 youth from the Scarborough area. The cadets seemed to be mostly middle to uppr middle class kids. While the youth groups, was mainly kids from lower income families that only came through the kind sponsorship of church elders.
It's obvious that they are very opposite groups. Both these groups are not typical patrons of Medeba. I would love to have more 'uncommon' groups into Medeba but our clientele just seems to be more middle to upper class youth groups. Anyway, I'm not going to rant about the type of people that Medeba attracts. I'm here to mention the one common factor I noticed from both groups.
Several of the kids from both groups seemed to have very large chips on their shoulders.
For the cadet group, many of the Sargents who were probably close to 18 years old seemed to be on a power trip. They liked to be in authority. They were sure to show they were in authority with every chance they got. They yelled and screamed. They got the cadets to do everything possible for them. I don't understand the culture but I know that may be part of the culture. Then, they started to try to power trip with me. They started to tell me that they don't have to do certian things because they have a high rank. Unfortunately for them. in the Medeba Dish Room, I am the ultmate authority. Those punks weren't going to tell me or my staff how things are run. They would do whatever it was that I asked of them. It was quite interesting to see how much they valued their rank. How much they thrived off the power. They needed to let everyone know how important they were. To me, that is sign they've gone a large chip hanging out on shoulder right.
I'll admit, I'm pretty oblivous to that culture. My impression was that it could be that very culture that instilled that attitude. At the same time, you would think such a program would be about respect. It didn't seem these leaders had respect for other authority figures that were outside of the cadets. To me, that isn't the sign of a very good leader. A leader needs to respect all people. Especially the people that are under them and these Sargents, definitely didn't treat the 'lower ranked' cadets very well at all.
Now let's move on to the youth group from this weekend. As I said before, there was a lot of lower income kids in this group. The majority of the guests in this group would be considered minorities here in Canada. Definitely major minorities in good ol' West G but I won't dwell on that topic. Once again, we had a lot of kids that seemed to be out to prove something. They didn't like to be asked to do a certian job. They didn't seem to believe that they needed to work or clean. I got the impression, they felt that the 'world' or whoever owed them something. The biggest thing I noticed, they didn't want to show any respect to authority. They didn't want to be pushed around. They defnitely didn't want to make it look like they were weak. I'd say that earns them a rather large chip on their shoulder.
You know what? I don't blame them one bit. I can't relate to the life that they have. I can't understand fully the battle they face day to day. From day one, they were probably born with a chip on their shoulder. They were probably taught that they had been wronged and that the world did owe them something. I can imagine that most days, it probably felt like that something good must be due to them. The simple truth, those kids need to feel a lot of love. They need to know that someone gives a damn about them. Deep down, every one of those kids seems to be really good. They just had a rough edge. A rough edge that was covering up a lot of truly amazing stuff.
Of course, I also didn't let them push me around. I didn't let them get away with talking badly to the cook's daughter. They hit a hot button of mine. A few of the guys found themselves making the dish room spotless. I wasn't going to take crap and they learned that pretty quick. Showing love to somebody doesn't mean you get pushed around. Sometimes, you have to be a little tough yourself.
It was quite an experience. It was an eye opening time. I really did enjoy this weekend's group. It has really reaffirmed how much I would love to get involved with 'inner-city' type missions. Maybe one day, I can help start knocking off a little bit of that chip. Allow the true greatness to shine through the person.