High-five’s and Hugs

Outtakes 168

High-five’s and Hugs

By Cait Collins


Sometimes adults forget just how little it takes to make a kid feel like he’s worth a million bucks. Young people thrive on a little attention, mixed with encouragement, discipline, and appreciation. This was made apparent to me a couple of weeks ago when my congregation hosted the area-wide teen jam.

The jam is a monthly event with the congregations in the Texas Panhandle taking turns providing a meal, fellowship, and a youth-centered evening service. The ladies prepared a simple meal of Mexican Pile On and dessert. We were still cooking taco meat when 85-95 kids and their sponsors began filling their plates. As we were beginning the clean-up, a young man and his friends came up to me and asked if I had helped cook the meal.

“I did.”

“Give me a high-five. That was really good.”

His buddy hugged me. “Thanks for doing this for us. We really appreciate it.”

Other teens joined in expressing their appreciation to the all the ladies. The hugs and high-five’s and all the smiles made the two hours of standing over a hot stove, cooking taco meat seem like five minutes. Their joy was worth the efforts of our team.

I am not suggesting that writers should take on mentoring a group of 90 teens who want to be writers. But what about one young person? Would it be that difficult to read one person’s work, show him or her the good things in the story and tactfully show the weaknesses? What kind of impact could we have if each writer mentored a young lady or gentleman?

Think about the adults who listened to you, who gave a bit of their time to encourage your dreams. How did you feel when you were told how well you had done on your book report or history paper? Maybe the wow moment came from a short story or poem you wrote for English class. I remember the top of the world feeling. Do you?

There are young people out there who would appreciate an adult just telling them dreams can come true. Sure you have to work for it, but it can happen. Maybe we won’t make millions by helping a kid, but I kind of think we’d feel like a million from all those high-fives and hugs.

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