By: Curt Williams, Founder & Executive Director
A few weeks ago, I called three of our residents over to the pavilion for a conversation. These are the three leaders that were recently profiled, and I had a very specific and very sincere question to ask them…
“What could I do, as the leader of Youth-Reach, to make the program better?”
It appeared that my question stunned them, as they looked at one another and it was clear that their mental wheels were turning. After a considerable pregnant pause, one of them said, “Well, if you would have asked that question during the first few weeks that I was here, I would have had plenty to say.” I prompted him to elaborate. He went on, “When I first arrived, I hated it here. I would have said then that it would be better if I could have a phone, or if my girlfriend could come see me or if I could do what I wanted. But now, I see things differently.”
It was clear by the other two nodding their heads that they were tracking with what he was saying. Another spoke up, “Yeah, when I first arrived I would have said many of the same things. I would have told you a lot of things that I thought would make Youth-Reach better, but now that I have been here almost a year, my opinion has changed.”
The third chimed in, “I agree, but now I see that the things we would have first said would not have made the program better, they would have made the program easier.”
“So,” I asked them, “what would make the program easier would not make it better?”
They all agreed. Easier would not be better.
In the end, they did not have one single recommendation for me. They did not have anything to offer that would make Youth-Reach better in their opinions. What we put them through is a difficult process; making it easier would defeat the whole purpose.
The truth here? Easier is not better. Sometimes, easier is worse than better.