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Happy Birthday Mom!

When trying to change conditions and improve people’s lives we sometimes get lost in numbers and statistics. Kindness and gratitude, giving and receiving – each interdependent and connected, the impact of which made clear in one simple request.
I was stopped dead in my tracks on my way into a recent @HiTOPS #Pride2Pride LGBT Mentoring meeting. The group had already started, and not wanting to interrupt a youth who was doing their introductory check-in, I quietly waited in the entrance for an appropriate time to pop in. What they said made my year.
It so happened their mother’s birthday was that evening, and the topic of this check-in was an expression of gratitude to mom, an acknowledgment of the sacrifices she makes to get them to the meetings at HiTOPS, particularly on that night, her birthday. They asked if it would be ok if the group could call her on speaker phone and sing the Happy Birthday song in her honor… which they did.
That there is an affirming space like this for young people to safely explore who they are, and make plans for the future is important. Even more so is that this is not merely a one-way transaction, but rather the creation of a connected and growing virtuous loop, which pays forward in small and large ways every single day.