I was listening to a podcast recently regarding a man that when he was 9 years old he burned 100% of his body. It was unimaginable, seeing a 9 year old so badly burnt and the parents not sure if he would live or die.
The child turned to his mom and asked her, if he was going to die. The mom in that moment said, "John, the choice is yours. I can't make that decision for you." As most mothers would quickly say to reassure their child, "No, you won't die," but this mother chose to give her son the words that would save her son's life.
Later after recovery and learning how to eat without fingers and live life in a whole new way he was crying in his bedroom as the day had come to return to school. John was extremely scared and sad. He started crying and yelled out "why me dad. Why did this happen to me?" His dad came into his room, got down on his level, looked him in the eye and said, "John, you have a choice to make you can be the victim and no one will blame you for it as yes something terrible has happened to you, but you have the choice to also be the Victor. You can be the person that others are inspired by because of what you have had to overcome. You can be a leader and live the life you dream to live, but the choice is yours."
John O'Leary has become a motivational speaker, author, and impacted millions of lives. You can catch this entire episode on Ed Mylett's Podcast!
When thinking about this I thought about our students and our dancers. When they are disappointed or frustrated. When they don't get the part they had their eye on. When they have a setback. Maybe they got injured and have to sit out. Or maybe they didn't win the placement they had thought they deserved?
The next time this moment happens instead of blaming and or agreeing, use this story and say to them, "are you the victim or the victor, the choice is yours."
We can build kids up to face the challenges that life will throw their way! We can't stop the problems, the heartaches, the struggles, but we can prepare them to be warriors in life!