So many things are all about perspective, right? I don't know if you've ever read or remember the Far Side cartoons. One of my favorites was a drawing of a car's outside rearview mirror from the driver's perspective. The words "Objects in the mirror may be closer than they seem" were clearly written across the bottom of the mirror. The only reflection in the mirror is one HUGE eyeball. The "reality" of what might be really close always makes me giggle.
When we talk about the kids at the Ranch we say they are complicated, troubled, and amazing. The government and social service sector call them "at-risk," and we do, too, in our mission statement "to help at-risk children and their families succeed in the name of Christ." However, one of our mental health therapists, Taylor Keller, has a different perspective.
"I heard an analogy once that some kids are like dandelions and some are like orchids," Taylor said. "Dandelions can grow anywhere—sidewalks, gravel, mud...They can grow anywhere with anything. Those kids are going to make it no matter how they grow up. Other kids are like orchids. They need the right amount of light, water, attention, and pruning. I keep in mind that maybe today, this Ranch child, is an orchid and we just have to figure out exactly what they need.
I smile when I think of Taylor's perspective. Ranch professionals, like Taylor, work with our kids every day. They see them at their best...and their worst. An orchid is not the first description I would expect. But, it speaks so clearly of the human ability to see the best in others, if that is the choice we make. Taylor chooses each day to see the potential in each child...and sees her job as nurturing that potential to help them "bloom."
I just love this place and respect the people I work with.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch