I’m constantly evaluating and questioning myself, as this is the best way for personal growth. Lately I have taken a closer look at my values, and tried to trace them back to where they came from. I think that it’s safe to say that a generally good upbringing has instilled many of my core values and beliefs.
In addition to teachings from my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, I spent many hours after school in the classrooms at St. Charles Borromeo Parish. CCD (Continuing Catholic Development) was set up to fill me with respect for myself, fellow man, and a pretty intense fear of going to Hell. I was also given candy every week.
check out the Stations of the Cross band, featuring pat, ryan, david, david, and myself, 4/03
I grew up about eight blocks East of the Kettering YMCA. The time that I didn’t spend playing at the park or sitting in St. Charles, I spent at the YMCA. Mom signed us up for soccer, swimming, basketball (that’s a whole other story), and the best time of my life: YMCA Indian Princesses. We were allowed to pick Indian names, I was Golden Rainbow, and play in the woods with very loose supervision from our fathers. While I didn’t particularly gain a respect for Native Americans (we mocked their culture, really) I did learn a great respect for the outdoors. We went on hikes and learned about the effects of pollution, cleaned up wild life areas, and had a nature report at every monthly meeting.
Golden Rainbow and Howlin’ Wolf of the Blackfoot tribe, Kipoo Nation, 8/94
I started thinking about this organization recently in respect to the way I “turned out.” When I was seven, I earned the Aims Patch. In order to earn this patch, you must memorize the five fundamental conventions of the organization. They are as follows:
- To be clean in body and pure in heart
- To be friends always with my dad
- To love the sacred circle of my family
- To listen while others speak
- To seek and preserve the beauty of the Great Spirit’s work: forest, field and stream
I’m trying to keep these five basic foundations in mind. A sportmanship code was recited before every YMCA soccer game, the Girl Scout Promise was recited at the beginning of every meeting. Why have we abandoned the rules of the organizations that shaped us as children? As we grow in age, wisdom is supposed to follow. As children we are taught the Golden Rule.
I have rejected many aspects of adulthood, and I am now attempting to divert back to my childhood ways in how I treat others. If anyone catches me breaking any of the promises or laws I was taught as a child, please put me in time out.