“Our environment, the world in which we live and work, is a mirror of our attitudes and expectations.” – Earl Nightingale
I love this photo for so many reasons. The two biggest ones are:
- Every single person in this photo is laughing or smiling.
- It presents a different discourse about Mathare- one of joy, laughter, friendship, and teamwork.
How often do we look at news articles, blog posts, and other media, only to see Mathare described in negative ways? We see the same words used over and over again: desolation, rape, crime, poverty, depression, sewage, gloom, and more.
What if we change the way we talk about places like Mathare? What if, instead of focusing on the negatives, we start to think about what the community has to offer?
During the Leadership Institute Program training, we talk about the power of high expectations and the effects of self-fulfilling prophecies. When you surround yourself with negative messaging about a community, that’s what you’ll see. But when you look for treasures, you’ll find them- creativity, resilience, humor, determination, passion, and vision at every turn in the community.
Our Leadership Institute Program is centered around these beliefs and practices. While others cast Mathare in a negative light, we are driven by the idea that there’s much more to this community than what’s commonly portrayed by the media. When you believe these positive messages is when real change begins.
Photo by Vanessa Johnston