Changing Mindsets

Mindsets filter what we see, hear, and believe. I had a hard time accepting that truth. While I’ve been out recruiting men to become part of the coalition and explaining to the benefits of becoming a member, I repeatedly heard how all these programs and groups are considered to be “State” to them. The connotation of “State” is one of negativity.

They explained to me that whenever the State got involved with them, family members, or even friends, nothing and I mean NOTHING ever turned out positively. Even when programs had the right initiative for inviting them, there was always a hidden agenda.

For as long as they can remember, whenever a representative from the “State” showed up there was never a silver lining for them or their families. It usually meant that someone was going to jail, or a family was being extracted from the immediate family.

After speaking with these gentlemen, I gained new insight into their distrust of the “State.” And I found it to be sad, especially since they could use the assistance the program provides.

Now, after being in my role as a Parent Liason for a few months, I have a new outlook for recruiting men to the coalition. I know that the standard approach won’t do. These men feel they’ve been repeatedly betrayed. Although they long to break the generational stereotypes and transgressions that follow on their families, they feel obligated to reject all assistance from the “State.” They’ve asked me, “Have you drank the Kool-Aid?” Translation: Am I brainwashed? Or because I have a mixed son, my family is the exception, rather than the rule?

These mindsets weren’t formulated overnight and won’t change overnight. I believe that we all have flawed mindsets, and things that don’t fit are considered truths.

The opportunity to change a mindset takes patience and a belief by the recipient(s) that I have the utmost best intentions for their well-being.

Stay tuned to learn more!


Funding from the Office of Great Start within the Michigan Department of Education supports the implementation of Great Start.