Be WUCA! Communities Create Civility for Young People!

At a time when many people feel overwhelmed by the problems and challenges facing children and adolescents, communities across the country need to discover new energy in working together, building civility toward a positive vision for young people. Instead of focusing only on problems of young people, communities need to build and support a foundation of development all young people need.

Uniting a community to nurture the positive development of youth and build civility is much like playing in a jazz ensemble. Each musician (community member) must know the tune and listen to the other ensemble members; all players must improvise together–sometimes taking the lead and sometimes blending into the background. To create a community-wide commitment to youth, all the “players” need to be an ensemble working toward a common vision of what is needed to promote the healthy development of young people.

Healthy Be WUCA! communities that build civility and family friendly supports need to act:

  • All residents take personal responsibility for the efforts to build civility in relationships.
  • The community thinks and acts intergenerational.
  • All children and teenagers frequently have opportunity to by in service to others.
  • Families are supported, educated, and equipped.
  • All children and teenagers receive support in both informal settings and in places where youth gather.
  • Neighborhoods and schools are places of caring, support, and safety.
  • Schools mobilize to promote caring, clear boundaries and sustained relationships with adults.
  • Businesses establish family-friendly policies for all employees.
  • Virtually all 10-to-18 year-olds are involved in one or more clubs, teams, or other youth-serving organizations that promote community building as a central part of their mission.
  • The media (print, radio, television) repeatedly communicate the community’s vision, support local mobilization efforts, and provide forums for sharing innovative actions taken by individuals and organizations.
  • Youth have opportunities to serve, lead, and make decisions in community government and service organizations.
  • Religious institutions mobilize their resources to build civility both within their own programs and in the community.
  • The community-wide commitment to building civility is long-term and sustained by business and industry and the public sector.

Communities utilizing Be WUCA! strategies will stem their population decline and attract new families. If you had a choice to live in a community that did not care about its youth or live in a community that engaged youth, into which community would you want to move your family? Think about it: all communities think they have great schools but I believe all parts of the community are needed to assist youth in education and to recognize as this is the place they wish to live or return with their families because of the importance that is placed on youth.

Choose Your Attitude in 4 Steps

Everyone chooses their attitude. Attitude is a choice. For everything in life, there is a certain way of:

  • Thinking
  • Believing
  • Acting

Happiness is a choice. It is a conscious choice that you make every day. You either choose to be happy or you choose not to be happy.

You have to think first, “I am going to be happy today,” then believe that it is possible to be happy in all things today. After you have thought you will be happy and believe you can be happy, choose to act like you are happy.

Think about Eeyore on Winnie the Pooh. Eeyore could look you right in the eye and say, “I am happy” but his voice and his actions tell you differently, so what he does reinforces his unhappiness. Eeyore is not a happy donkey. Life is unfair to him. He is miserable. Everyone around him miserable.

Eeyore is what I like to call a “Crap Magnet,” where everything close to him has a crappy attitude.

Want to be happy? Try this exercise.

1. Identify a negative belief that you have. It can be anything from your work, family, any situation that you think will never get better.

2. Define how it limits you. What does it stop you from doing?

3. Decide how you want to feel and act. Think about the end. How do you wish that you would feel and act if the belief was not there?

4. Create a turnaround statement you can read every day that reflects how you want the end result to be. Start the statement with “I am…” e.g. “I am choosing to be happy today and I am building civility in all relationships.”

It is time to quit waiting for:

  • Perfection
  • Inspiration
  • Permission
  • Reassurance
  • Someone to change
  • The right person to come along
  • The kids to leave home
  • The pain to go away
  • A new administration to take over
  • An absence of risk
  • Someone to discover you
  • A clear set of instructions
  • More self-confidence

What are you waiting for? 

Choose to have a positive attitude and choose to be happy. Do whatever it takes.

As Larry the Cable Guy would say, “Get “er” Done!!”

Let us know what happens and if you need some help!

What you believe directs your life. What song do you sing?

Do you remember what it was like when you were a kid; when you believed that you could be anything you wanted when you grew up? When you believed you could do anything? The possibilities were endless! What was your dream?

 You could be a policeman or woman. A doctor. An astronaut. A master gardener!

 You believed that anything was possible.

 And it was.

 You didn't have any doubts or judgments.

You didn't see all the reasons "why not." You just saw the "What if?"

 Do you still believe that you can be anything you want and have everything you daydream about?

 Why not?  What happened?

 Why don't we still believe money grows on trees?

Why don't we still believe that we can have it all?

Why don't we still believe that we are worthy enough?

Why do we see all the reasons why it won't work, or why we can't do it, or why it's not possible?

 It's not your fault that you believe this way.

As we've lived life, other people told us that a certain thing isn't possible. We've been told that money doesn't grow on trees, you have to work hard, life is a struggle, you aren't good enough, or smart enough, or attractive enough. Our beliefs changed.

At first, we didn't believe them. We were still kids at heart and thought we could have it all. But then we tried and failed.

And the more we tried (or saw others try) and fail, we started adopting those beliefs as "truths" or "facts." Through the years, they became our beliefs. We started saying and believing:

Money doesn't grow on trees.

I'm not good enough.

I'm not smart enough.

Nothing ever works out for me.

Other people are just lucky.

Life is hard.

The list goes on.

Well, we're here to tell you that's not the truth! Just because someone else's voice sings that song doesn't make it true for you. That's not who you are! You are so much more valuable and have so much more to offer! These messages, these songs, are other peoples' old, worn out, self-sabotaging beliefs. If these are the tunes singing in your head, are you still pursuing your dream?

Every action you take and decision you make is a result of your beliefs. You CAN change your beliefs to change your life, but you must be intentional and determined every day - sometimes every SECOND of every day - to direct your life where you want to go.

Your beliefs literally control your life. What song are you singing? With whom are you hanging out? What song do they sing? Do the people in your life cheer you on? Maybe you could use and appreciate some new cheerleaders who will encourage you and help you see who you truly are and the possibilities that are waiting for you!

With a happy outlook, a positive attitude, an encouraging support system, and "I can do it" beliefs in place, you will change your life and your future through your own actions. You can make decisions that will allow you to live the life you want - a life of freedom and joy! Bring back your childhood optimism, sing your own song, and go after your dream!