Milestones are moments of significance worth celebrating. Usually associated with human development, or business plans, they require no work, last for no length of time and often go unmarked unless someone points them out. They are, in effect, simply moments in the passage of time. And a time, simply, for noticing
This is our 100th issue of CYC-Online, a milestone which we choose to notice and celebrate. Partially because we are just downright pleased to have made it this far “who would have thought back in February of 1999 that we would have ended up here today? At that time we were working on hope (now we survive on “a wing and a prayer") as we said that we hoped that issue of CYC-Online might be ...
the beginning of what may become a useful “alternative press” for those around the world who work with troubled kids and youth at risk, offering opinion, ideas, writing and news – and perhaps some of the inspiration to complement the perspiration – of this truly remarkable profession of ours which, throughout the world, is like no other profession.
At the risk of blowing our own horn, as one of our mothers liked to say, if that was our goal, we feel we have made progress along the road to achieving it. We are not where we want to be yet, but we feel we are on the right path – and we trust that you do as well. We are especially pleased that this milestone arrives during Child and Youth Care Worker’s Week, another annual milestone in and of itself.
Like all milestones, it is simply that, a milestone, a marker not of any beginning or end, but rather just a moment of recognition along the journey. And we are proud to have made it this far. And so we celebrate, draw attention to the moment, and when the moment is over we will move on towards the next significant milestone, whatever it might turn out to be.
The original purpose of a milestone was to let the voyager know where he stood on his journey. It allowed him to recognize how far he had come, and how close he was to his destination. They also frequently identified things which would be encountered on the road ahead so that the voyager might notice in the future, once again, how far he had come and how far he still had left to go.
Just as we might do with young people and families. Pause just for a moment or two to notice the significant moments and milestones along the way. Like the first time an evening passes without conflict in a family. Or the moment when an angry young woman takes a deep breath and tries a different response to her feelings. Or when two young people resolve a conflict without resorting to name calling. Or when a father says thanks to one of his children. Or when a mother manages to find a moment for herself in the midst of a demanding life. Small, seemingly insignificant moments and actions which are milestones of progress and development.
And I cannot help but think that it would be a
wonderful thing if we were to help families and young people notice
these milestones of their own journey; if we were to take the time, just
a moment, to notice and celebrate with them so that they might at the
same time celebrate their success in coming as far as they have in their
journey towards their own destination.
Change, they say, grows one breath at a time.
Thom and Brian