July 29, 2021

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Stinkin ‘thinkin’ or the mentality of champions

James came the other day and wanted to volunteer, so I asked him if he could put some food in the pantry and gave him a list of food and quantities to put in each bag.

Simple, or so I thought.

When I went back a little later to check his progress, I found that he wasn’t following the list and didn’t quite understand my instructions.

In cases like this I always wonder if I didn’t explain myself well or maybe I should have shown exactly how I wanted it to be done.

And James is a pretty smart guy, but sometimes some of the people we see have trouble understanding simple tasks.

Something that might seem easy for you or me to accomplish is not entirely understood.

I like to think of cases like this as “mentality” problems.

They may have received so many negative inputs that they have a hard time believing they can do a certain task.

Or their total lack of experience in the world of work puts them at a disadvantage.

In most cases it is not about strategy or technique, but more about people’s full understanding of the task at hand, of their mentality.

It’s not really about what specific steps they need to take to get the job done – it’s why they’re taking each step and how they fit together as a whole.

Our mind is a tool that can work for us or against us and we try to feed the minds of those who come down for help.

We teach daily life skills at the Mission in areas such as hygiene, hypothermia, getting along with others and money management.

We do this through educational videos, didactic handouts that are left on the tables in the canteen for the poor for reading and making them work together with others who have more experience.

Sometimes a simple list of step-by-step instructions won’t work, but once they gain some experience and see how a task fits together, the light goes on and what may seem like a jumble of disconnected steps suddenly becomes clear as the day.

I love all these guys and I’m not belittling anyone, because we all have blind spots in some areas.

But I’ve found that feeding the minds of those we help goes a long way in improving some of those binding points.

You can read more stories like this in my book Stories and Recipes from the soup kitchen, available on Amazon

And you can visit the Silver City Gospel Mission at https://silvercitygospelmission.org/

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