When speaking on television about education Bill Cosby said, “it is there for you but it is not going to come to you.” I believe that a perception exists that everything we need should come to us. That we deserve services and programs to work around our schedules. The beauty of a remarkable interaction is that it involves two people making an investment of their talents in each other. We have to be willing to go and discover that which we seek. Some enterprises train their advocates that the organization will always come to them when there is a question or a requirement for funding. Why not create an environment where you meet in the middle? In making an effort from both sides you have collaborated to form a partnership.
I adminsiter a funding program that awards scholarships to youth recipients who wished to attend extra-curricular events, perhaps a dance program or summer camp. Our biggest challenge has been ensuring full scholarship recipients attended the entire program. Once we removed the option of a full scholarship and required the youth organization and the applicant or their parents to contribute towards the registration fees the foundation encountered no absenteeism. Meeting somewhere in the middle was a powerful lever for everyone involved.
I am reminded of Robert Frost’s poem, Mending Wall that speaks to the ideology of a shared experience.
And on a day we meet to walk the line
And set the wall between us once again.
We keep the wall between us as we go.
To each the boulders that have fallen to each.
Robert Frost, Mending Wall