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Evan Learns How to Sweep: A Story of Appreciation

A tale that highlights the importance of daily mental and emotional "sweeping" to maintain a zestful, balanced life. Evan's journey will inspire you to look around and find something in your life to RAVE about.

Inside the Jungle Do Dojo, Coach Gorilla observed his students practicing their martial arts moves. The room was a flurry of energy and determination, but one student caught his eye—Evan, the usually effervescent monkey, seemed off. His kicks, generally crisp and energetic, lacked their typical zest.

As the class wound down, Coach Gorilla picked up a broom and approached Evan. "Would you mind helping me sweep the mats?"

Evan took the broom and began sweeping, but his strokes were as lifeless as his recent kicks. "You're a sharp one, Evan. You're usually in your element here, but today you seemed distant. Anything bothering you?"

Evan paused and looked at his mentor, "I'm not sure, Coach. Lately, things just seem to be losing their zest, and I don't know why."

Coach Gorilla leaned against a post. "You know, training is a lot like sweeping the floor. The dust always comes back; you have to sweep again every day."

Evan looked puzzled. "So, are you saying I have to train every day to keep my zest?"

Coach Gorilla elaborated, "Not exactly. You need to create a new training habit, Evan. I'm talking about a habit that will have a powerful impact on your energy - and influence how you see the world. I'm talking about RAVE—which stands for: Recognizing, Appreciating, Valuing, and Embracing. It's about seeing the good in the people, places, and things in your life. And just like the need to sweep daily because the dust always comes back, we all need to RAVE daily."

Coach Gorilla explained, "For instance, I Recognize the dojo as a sanctuary, Appreciate its peace, Value its teachings, and Embrace its community. It keeps my spirit clean."

Evan skeptically asked, "What does the dust stand for then?"

Coach smiled as he contemplated the question, "The dust stands for the "Doubts, Uncertainties, Stress, and Tensions." that we can experience in our lives. We can sweep them away when we RAVE about what we have in our life.

Still skeptical but forcing a slight smile, Evan said, "Alright, Coach, I'll try it."

A few weeks later, Evan found Sammy the sloth hanging from a tree, looking a little down.

"Hey Sammy, how are you feeling?"

Sammy sighed, "Oh, you know, just another slow day."

Evan brightened up. "Can I share something with you that's been helping me lately?"

Sammy looked intrigued, "Sure, why not?"

Evan continued, "I’m trying this new thing Coach taught me—RAVE. At first, I wasn't sure about it, but then I started to Recognize my bedroom as a place where I can relax, Appreciate my books because they take me to other worlds, Value the healthy and yummy food Mom makes, and Embrace my friendships. And, of course, how could I forget, bananas!"

Seeing Sammy's slightly uplifted eyebrows, Evan pressed on, "And as for you, Sammy, I Recognize you as a true friend, Appreciate your constant support, Value your authenticity, and Embrace our friendship."

Sammy’s eyes brightened and her lips curled into a smile. "Wow, that sounds like a daily sweep for the soul. I’ll give it a try!"

The next day, Evan walked into the dojo with a renewed spirit. His kicks were crisp, his focus unwavering, and his grappling sweeps vibrant. Coach Gorilla, noticing this transformation, couldn't help but smile.

After class, Evan picked up a broom and looked at Coach Gorilla, "Sweeping's never felt so meaningful, Coach."

Coach grinned, "You've discovered the power of RAVE, haven't you?"

"Absolutely, Coach. And I plan to 'sweep the floor' of dust every single day."

With a proud smile, Coach Gorilla handed him a colorful badge with the letters R. A. V. E stitched on it. "You've truly earned this RAVE Badge, Evan."

Evan pinned the badge to his Gi, his heart swelling with gratitude and newfound zest for life.

The End

This uplifting story represents one of the key badges for resiliency in our life skills program. The badge is earned through embracing the RAVE philosophy—Recognizing, Appreciating, Valuing, and Embracing the elements that enrich our lives. Our students are encouraged to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery, much like Evan, to earn their RAVE badges. It's more than just a story; it's a call to action for everyone to consciously celebrate the positive aspects of their lives, thereby cultivating resilience, gratitude, and a lasting zest for life.

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