Hope: It's Now Available In Refillable Jars

What tools do you use to ensure that you remember your successes? Do you actively try to keep them foremost in your mind?

If not, why not?

If, as a child, you had a shelf full of trophies, you most likely understand where I'm going with this. And if that doesn't describe you at all (It certainly didn't describe me), then you need to hear this more than most.

I'm a Florida guardian ad litem, a court appointed advocate for children. So I actively look for ways to ensure that, for the case I am assigned to, my child's best interests are heard and served. On one level this can mean adequate care, but on another it means ensuring that he or she has every opportunity to succeed.

Makes sense. An adult who champions for a troubled young person.

While in court a bit ago, all of us involved in a particular case reported the progess of a teen we are charged with caring or advocating for. Our reports were universally glowing. This good news was deserved, too, because she's doing an excellent job with schoolwork and making huge strides in her path to adulthood. Our judge was so impressed with her, as a matter of fact, that she had the entire court give her a well-deserved round of applause.

Imagine you're a 16-year-old receiving applause from a judge and a roomful of people who are there to ensure your success.

At that moment, I wondered whether I could bottle that applause so that she'd have it long past that afternoon. When life got scary, she could uncork the applause. When her boyfriend broke up with her, she'd twist the top off the jar. And when she faced job layoffs or career launches, she'd be able to pop the top.

I got to thinking. I can't bottle the accolades she got that day, but I can make a journal, box, or album with the same intent. It would include every report card, record of the judge's glowing comments, and photos of those who'd encouraged her along the way. Everyone involved in her case could write letters to her future. We could tell her how much hope we have for her in the years to come, and how much we've believed in her enough to stand by her side through times bad and good.

It would be her real Hope In a Jar.

Couldn't we each make our own jar just like that one and recycle it when the contents got depleted?


  1. I love this idea! I was in tears reading this!
    We so need to encourage the youth! They have great stories to tell, bright promise for tomorrow! They are the earth's golden future - we need to cherish them! This is one of the things I personally blog about on JAM http://joblessandmultitalented.blogspot.com as well as my family one http://haywardhomestead.blogspot.com

    What a wonderful gift!
    I hope you remember to keep a special jar for you too!


  2. What a beautiful idea - and I must confess, that like 16Stars, I was teary-eyed reading this. She's lucky to have you as an advocate - and sending her off into this big, scary world with such a "jar" would be an incredible treasure to help her remember that she had you, and others, on her side when she needed it!