Reprinted with Permission from Janet K. Irwin

I firmly believe with all my heart, that each child we encounter has this really neat little person "lurking" inside, just waiting to come out and play and interact with us. The catch, is that there are locks and keys involved. NOT EVERY PROVIDER HAS THE KEY TO EVERY CHILD. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all did? I believe we have to make an honest effort to explore the possibility that we may indeed have the key for a particular child. We also have to be able to face the reality that there are some children we don't have the key for , never did and never will. We have to be willing to let these children go and hope that somewhere down the line, and hoping that that line is very short for the child's sake, there is indeed someone with their key. I think that this is an extremely polite and uncruel way to explain to a parent why their child can no longer participate in your program. It takes a lot of personal courage on our part to speak these things out loud. We want to be everything to everyone and frankly we just can't. This thing that we all do is not a "state secret". It is a living breathing entity, and it has to be nurtured and coached and coaxed along. We must share what works and what doesn't work. We must spread this thing we do around for our own sanity and for the sake of all the lives of the children we touch or will some day touch.

I leave you with the following:

"Never underestimate the ability of a small, dedicated group to people to change the world: indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead


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