The 7th graders in my religion class each had to choose a focus word that would help them to center themselves for the second half of the school year. The word could relate to personal needs, academic needs, or spiritual needs. Some of the students were so intent on choosing the right word that they continued to switch words several times.
The activity of choosing the words themselves led to terrific discussions and meaningful reflections. I was especially delighted when several of these young teenagers read aloud from their journals about why they wanted to focus on a particular area of their lives. (Folks who work with this age group know that sometimes encouraging them to share feelings is a challenge.)
All of us, me too, made a magnet of our word as a daily visible reminder of the mindset we want to embrace.
Don't even try to tell me that our young people today aren't ambitious and thoughtful.
I know that they are.