“Most of us are aware that our expectations affect our own behavior.  If you envision yourself losing this afternoon’s tennis match, you are more likely to lose.  If you assume you will win, your chances of winning increase significantly.  We call these self-fulfilling prophesies.  What many people don’t know is that one person’s beliefs can contribute to another’s outcomes.

Time and again, research has demonstrated that our assumptions shape the outcomes.  In an experiment, the Harvard professor Robert Rosenthal told students he had developed a strain of highly intelligent rats that could zip through a maze in record time.  Then he passed our regular old rats to all the students.   He told half of them they were getting the smart rats; the other half, he said, were getting dull rats.  The “smart” rats became faster and more accurate every day; the “dull” rats wouldn’t even leave the starting gate 29 percent of the time.”

The Art of Connecting by claire Raines and Laura Ewing

I read this today and wondered how many kids we leave at the starting gate, not because of their ability or capacity but because of our preconceived beliefs about them. 

It’s sad enough when we self-impose limitations on ourselves but when we do the same to others we fail at our fundamental task as youth workers…seeing what God sees in them and calling it out.

Where are we limiting the kids we influence?

Where are we calling out what God intended?

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