Common Ground II

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As a teacher who has slowly come to appreciate the value of autonomous learning experiences and the difficulty adults have with dealing with these, I have been very concerned over the last several years at the possible loss of the youth selfdirection that has been at the heart of LRY. Although I can still quibble over a very few points, there is one thing that has become very clear to me: the new organization for YRUU is very, very good. Although the UUA Board is indeed the final power, the structures of the Youth Council and Steering Committee should provide the creative impetus for the program, and each of these is three-fourths youth. Further, the presence of a UUA Board member on these bodies insures the flow of communications so often missing in the past. Finally, closer affiliation with the denomination should open up a great many resources for program material and clerical support previously unavailable.

Structure alone, however, will not make the YRUU work. Adults, myself included, must give the youth the psychic space to develop their own power by treating themselves as suggesters and reflectors and not as prime movers or preventers. The UUA Board must be willing to let the organization work rather than try'to drive it-a sentiment which I think the Board shares. But most important, youth must recognize in themselves the primary responsibility to actively run the organization, and not exist as mere tokens. They must subject the ideas of others to their own careful criticism, and not be afraid to express feelings that very nice people around them may differ with. To make YRUU your own, you must be willing to pay this price. The return on the investment is limitless.

-Vonnie Hicks
Winston-Salem, NC


Translated from the original text document to HTML by Lorne Tyndale, YRUU Programmes Specialist September 1993 - August 1994. The document was on I have placed the document on this site as I've been notified that appears to be down.

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