Today we had a lovely reflection about how Lasallian care is integrated into Ocean Tides (OT) daily services. Before I go into my response I want to share a short saying that got the gears in my head spinning.
“Bit by bit, Little by little” Brother Jim
Lasallian care does not come in large brown packages tied up with bright red ribbons. It is the little things that you see grow “bit by bit”. I have seen this play out in how the young men at OT are growing day by day. These boys are at OT to learn, but this eduction does not stop at math, english, or science. The young men are given opportunities to learn life skills such as woodwork, cooking, and hair cuts. Yet the most important thing that I see them being taught is that they are not alone and they have importance in this world.
I have seen this through many experience and interactions with the boys in the classroom. One instance was when a young man arrived to class. He was new to the system and obviously wasn’t super comfortable with the classroom setting. And to make things worse some of the boys had started picking on him by making fun of his name, hair, or really whatever they could poke fun at. The teacher instantly picked up on his reaction and distracted him from the negativity in the room by catching him up to the rest of the class.
The next experience that really stuck out to me was again in another classroom setting. The class was very hard for the teacher to control and this teacher was very distracted by what was happening on one side of the room with a particular student. While this was going on, one of the other students took it upon himself to help out his classmate by answering a question. Although this may seem like a small accomplishment, this student was showing strong leadership skills. Yet, the most impactful part of it was that after the teacher had gotten the classroom under control he made sure to acknowledge the young mans good deeds.
Let me leave you on this note “I was hungry and you feed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me; I was naked and you clothed me….” 25: 35-36. The OT boys may feel insignificant at times, but the teachers and staff make sure to show them their true value as a child of God.