77 99. Young People Are the Resource, Not the Client. This is the whole reason the youth service experience is so powerful. City Year is not a youth program. It is a social change organization – seeking to shift attitudes, values and resources towards the common good – with youth as its greatest resource. In everything we do, we need to think about how we can release the power of young people.100. City Year Is an Act of Will. City Year does not have a solitary institutional base. City Year is essentially a collective act of will of many people and institutions. As a full-time member of the City Year community, your actions of will make a huge difference.101. The Ideal Service Metaphor is to Act like “Water.”What kind of institution does City Year seek to be? In building your part of City Year, remember that the Tao Te Ching, a two thousand year old Chinese text credited to Lao-Tzu, tells us that the highest form of leadership is like “water” – it seeks the lowest level so that it touches and connects all things; it moves around great barriers that it cannot go through; it acts as a solvent on things that are stuck; and it makes good things grow.102.
Try to Put into Practice the Iroquois Principle that, “With Each Decision, Consider its Effect on the Next Seven Generations.” What would the world be like if this were practiced universally? Perhaps a world without poverty, pollution, or war.103. Send Out “Tiny Ripples of Hope.”Robert Kennedy, speaking in South Africa in 1965, said: “Each time a person stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others, he or she sends out a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other through many centers of energy and daring those ripples create a mighty current that can strike down even the strongest walls of oppression and resistance.”Almost every good thing that ever happened at City Year stemmed from an act of courage and belief by an individual or group of people. Small, heroic acts, like the daily dedication of corps and staff, help build City Year. In the process, these “acts” ripple out to inspire others to act on their beliefs, which in turn inspire others.104. City Year is Built by Witnesses and Champions. A witness is someone who has seen or been affected by the work we do, such as an AmeriCorps member’s mother or father, a service partner, or even someone riding public transportation or strolling by PT. A champion is someone who acts on City Year’s behalf and places their personal resources and credibility behind moving the organization forward. Many City Year champions have taken major personal and professional risks that have significantly moved the organization forward. Staff and corps must be both witnesses and champions, and help develop other witnesses and champions.