When my wife Ellie and I were married, we knew we wanted a large family. We had eight children (4 boys and 4 girls) and our family has always been the center of our lives. Our oldest is Kim. I tell everyone that Kim is the closest thing to a perfect person that I know, and that she may be a big reason why we continued to have more children. We just expected more perfection. Well, let's just say the next three were boys.
Kim is an elementary school teacher. She was destined to be. When Kim was in second grade, she started her own school in our garage for the younger neighborhood children. Kim realized at an early age what she was good at and what she loved. She discovered her God-given gifts and has happily worked with those for others. Kim also firmly believes in God, His plan, and her purpose.
As a teacher, Kim helped start "Career Day" at her school. She invites thirty varied professionals to speak at three consecutive sessions of students. There are about twenty students in each session and the students get to pick the three career sessions they want to attend. Just knowing there are 30 different occupations to choose from is a revelation to most of the students.
Nearly all of my family has given a presentation at Kim's school. We have discussed nursing, engineering, professional baseball, athletic training, fire fighting, real estate, sales, teaching, and art. I love "Career Day" because I realize the value of discovering your gifts and finding a fit with your occupation. I truly regret not appreciating the value of "Purpose" until late in my life.
As an artist talking with the kids I try to tell them that we are all unique and we all have great value. But none of us can be great at everything. That's why we need others who are great at things we aren't. It is very important to learn, to try things, and to study yourself. Discover what you love, what you are good at. Listen to others when they affirm your gifts or steer you to opportunities for growth. Don't be afraid to be different from your friends. Be ready to work hard because part of the enjoyment in life is getting better through perseverance.
Now the best thing about "Career Day" for me, the artist, is to see how attentive and respectful these children are. They ask great questions and they have good answers to all my questions. And a week or two later we instructors receive a package of thank-you notes from the kids. These alone are worth the time spent.