Grateful for Yearning

Sometimes we have to just be grateful for the chance.

I have worked to teach, engage, and activate young people and adults for more than 20 years. It’s been hard, and I have struggled. It’s also been very rewarding and gratifying! But today, today I’m feeling aware of the misses, not the hits. I know there is rapid and dramatic change coming in my life and that I may not make it there with you all, my awesome readers. So let me say this:

I’m grateful for yearning, wanting, and desire.

All along, my work has been about love for life, love for creativity, and love for my self. I have sought so much, nothing less than the complete re-envisioning of the roles of young people throughout society. Knowing that change is beyond my lifetime’s range, I grew to be satisfied with knowingness and opportunity. All along I have known this is the right cause, the right path to have walked. I knew the rewards that I’d find were internal, and they have been. Waiting for awards and others’ gratitude has (luckily) never been my style.

On days when it seems like those experiences are all I have, I am grateful for simply having those. I have known so many people who have lost desire. They deny their wanting. They negate their yearning. Rather than placating my determination with menial paychecks or my name in print, I have learned to take pride in me. Maybe that’s what this work has been all about for me.

I’m learning how to just lean into the dream unrealized, and know that all things happen as they’re supposed to… Today I sigh with gratitude, and I want to publicly thank you all. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know it’s even more amazing than what I’m doing today. Here’s to the future!

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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