As the last months of Pass it On pass by, I am confronted with the word commitment. We all practice commitment in our lives, more often unconsciously. We are the most committed to our lovers, children, friends and habits, following through in our support without thought or question.
Pass it on is a program that relies on commitment. Enthusiastic and optimistic young woman join the program in September, committing themselves to weekly meetings and phone calls with younger buddies. Overly confident, they make bold promises and form expectations of their commitment and engagement. We all do it. When something excites us we promise commitment, in whatever form. The actuality of that commitment over the test of time can often break us. Are we taught in life how to follow through?
What keeps us committed? Love, engagement, necessity, devotion, ego? In these bustling days of high expectations, we often over-commit ourselves, but under-commit ourselves in all the little ways. As an overly empathetic person, I often find myself seeing all the gaps and roles I should fill and neglecting the most necessary commitments like quiet days with my family working on projects solely for us. By April, young women in Pass it On who had made big expectations of commitment in the beginning are often left floundering, overly committed and on the brink of graduation or summer, creating new expectations, and new commitment.
Do we breed this in our society? Do we support and nurture commitment? What significance does commitment hold? Does it nurture us? I am beginning to believe that one’s commitment to another makes or breaks them. I believe that when we demonstrate commitment to one another and follow through with it, we excel. When we speak with someone and commit to the conversation, with eye contact and our full attention, a trust is developed. When we trust, we relax, we open up, we show more, feel more and give more back. I am beginning to believe that we need to make more small simple commitments to one another so that we can begin to discern more clearly the larger, broader commitments we can truly make and truly fulfill. When we commit ourselves to a conversation, a moment, an action, we are giving genuine support. When we are genuinely supported we begin to grow and thrive.
Every year I see the mentor buddy relationships develop healthier, happier and more confident young women. Imagine a world where young women and men experienced regular dedicated commitment to the moments of their lives. Not just from family, but from friends, teachers and community members. I challenge you to be more committed to the moment – to those you are sharing it with and to yourself. If you are moved, show your support. A supportive community is committed to our advancement, and advance is what we do every day.
If feel so inspired, please join us in Pass it On this Thursday evening at Sparkfest. Come and celebrate a small group of young women all practicing the art of commitment and support. A program making small steps in confidence and character building for young women here on Salt Spring.
By Kate Nash, Mentor Supervisor & Pass It On Coordinator
A benifit for SWOVA’s Pass It On program
Thursday April 30th
Harbour House Hotel, Orchard Room
7:30 doors, 8:00pm start.
$20 advance tickets at Salt Spring Books $25 at the door
Ashleigh Ball (from Hey Ocean and voice artist for My Little Ponies and Care Bears)
Morgan Klassen (spoken word)
GISS ladies only improv
and much more
SWOVA – Empowering Youth for a Better Tomorrow