Updated: Jun 26, 2020
At Hollis Academy, our residents are always encouraged to explore their hidden talents. One way this is done is through gardening. Pictured to the left is our young men enjoying time together in a fun activity, but under the surface of this simple project is a seed that is being planted that can change their lives.
When a person undertakes a task such as growing plants in a garden, they are willing to endure hardships so that they will see a beautiful end result. A person must battle weeds, break up hard ground, and watch out for predators so that their garden will be able to flourish. So, what does all this have to do with changing the life of a young person?
Our lives can be similar to tending a garden. To have a successful, flourishing life, we must do the same things as we would to have a prosperous garden. We must diligently battle the "weeds", or struggles and trials of our life. Like weeds, trials do not go away easily, and if they are left unattended, they can overtake us.
Over time, hot days like today can make the surface of the ground hard and crusty. Allowing it to remain this way restricts it from getting the rain and nutrients it needs to bring abundant life. A gardener rakes and breaks that hard ground around the plants. In like manner, the "heat" of our everyday lives can harden us which does not leave room for the nurturing that we may need.
Finally, a person always has to be mindful of predators when care taking a garden. Like weeds, other outside forces can diminish our crop if we do not protect against them. It is the same with growing in life. Other people and things can destroy us if we do not protect against them. We must be prepared to defend against the things that will hurt our character and drag us down in life.
We are always striving to teach our young men while they are at Hollis Academy. Through activities as simple as planting a seed, we hope that we are planting a seed for them to help each resident grow toward a brighter and successful future.