Can just one person effect change in another human being?
Does one person have the potential to carry that much power?
Let's talk about the negative side first.
Adverse childhood experiences.
These are the things that happen in life that are more than just the normal childhood difficulties. These are the things associated with lifelong physical and mental health problems that emerge in adolescence and persist into adulthood:
childhood emotional, physical, or sexual abuse
household dysfunction during childhood
verbal, physical, sexual abuse
a battered mother
household substance abuse
household mental illness
incarcerated household members
parental separation or divorce
Like the foundation of a house, our childhood experiences are the foundation on which the rest of our lives are built. And if the foundation is not solid — has emotional cracks and wounds — these affect the structure of our adult lives.
Each of has a story that we walk out of our childhoods with — about the way our parents always argued, that our brother was abusive, that our sister was supportive, that our grandmother was the rock that kept us stable, that school was hell. (Psychology Today)
Below is a true story of a past resident from Homes of Hope which highlights the negative effect of adverse childhood experiences:
Seventeen year old Mere is a sex worker. After her mother passed away when Mere was two, she was brought up by her grandmother in a squatter settlement. Her life was miserable as her grandmother’s only source of income was fishing. She accompanied her grandmother to the mangrove swamps to catch prawns, crabs and fish.
Mere dropped out of school in Class 5 because life was hard and no one was supporting her. She moved to her auntie’s place but still life got more and more difficult.
Mere ran away from her auntie’s home and met with friends who were sex workers. She soon got into sex work and works 3 days a week, earning $80 -$100 per night. With the money she earned she bought food, clothing and paid her rent.
(name changed to protect identity)
...that is not the end of Mere's story. Mere went on to find belonging and hope through relationships at Homes of Hope, then later with job and church connections.
The type of protective questions that could enrich the ACE survey includes, “In your childhood was there a person or persons in your family who took a positive interest in you?” Or “Did some people in your family look out for and support each other sometimes?” Or “Were there some things as a family you enjoyed doing together?” They would include questions beyond the family since they, too, can contribute to resilience: “In your childhood was there a person or persons outside the family who supported you? Motivated you? Seemed to appreciate your strengths?” (Leitch 2015).
The power of one person to effect change is underestimated.
If each of us would reach out and connect with another, we could make a tremendous impact on the battle and subsequent effects of adverse childhood experiences.
We challenge you to be the one who, just through caring, you bring life back to another human being.
If you can't feed a hundred people, then just feed one. Mother Theresa
If you can't play a role in a hundred people's lives, then play a significant, caring role in one. Homes of Hope
Please visit our website, Homes of Hope Fiji, to join our team through prayer, giving, educating others, visiting, or volunteering.