A few young people who have been coming to youth club regularly.
As a youth worker, making connections with young people is one of the many things we do.
I’ll be honest;
Some young people are easier to connect with.
And some young people are a lot harder to connect with.
This lot of young people were hard to connect with.
Most conversations went like this; “what did you get up to today?”
And the answer was “nothing”.
Or “how was school?”
They would reply “good”.
And I would stand there awkwardly, while they look at each other wondering when I would leave.
I tried every trick up my sleeve.
The other night; we were on our way to the driving range.
I was driving my van and a young person made a comment;
“The way you shift your gears is like off the movie Mad Max, *sound effects of gears shifting gears are being made*”.
I was like; “have you watched Mad Max?”
The young people were like “yeah remember that part when…” and then we each shared our favourite parts. The young people and I discussed; what happened in the movie and asked each other what we would do if we were in the movie during the whole ride. And the trip seemed so much more shorter.
During the driving range we had a blast and good laughs (because we weren’t that great).
On the way home; the young people started telling me about their world, at home, school, community and peers.
The next day at school, the young people shook my hand and we had inside jokes.
It was like Mad Max, connected us and created a relationship for us.
I just found it odd, weird and strange that we connected over a movie called ‘Mad Max’.
Odd, that these young people in Randwick Park, South Auckland actually know about a movie like Mad Max.
Weird, that I love a movie like Mad Max (this isn’t something I openly tell people).
Strange, that it took my driving to bring up a movie like Mad Max and started conversation.
I am thinking maybe that our odd, weird and strange things can connect us to others.
And maybe our odd, weird and strange things are actually just awesome creative ways to connect with people.
And there is a possibly our oddness, weirdness, strangeness or ‘creative ways’ could help make those harder connections easier.
So I’m going to start embracing the odd, weird and strange things in my life; because I can imagine the possible connections and relationships I could make with my odd, weird and strange things.
And maybe you could do the same too.
Most youth workers, know that when we can connect with young people; this is a start of creating a relationship.
Maybe this is a start of an amazing relationship and journey with these young people.
And I have Mad Max to thank for this connection with these young people.