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#25186 Raj Nelson Chapel Talk

Introspective

“Make time for yourself, unwind for yourself
Nobody can give you what you’ll find in yourself
Keep reminding yourself that you’re nice by yourself
You must love yourself to be loved by someone else
You gotta smile by yourself, run a mile by yourself
Meditate, walk in the countryside by yourself
Stand tall by yourself, rise and fall by yourself
You must crawl before you run all by yourself…”
-Bru-C

Hey everybody, I’m Raj Nelson, camper #25186 and 2021 Plebe Division Head. Shoutout my boys from Clark & Cutler cabin, wasssuuuuppp! Anyways, this chapel talk is about Introspective. Introspection is the examination of your own thoughts, feelings, and mental state. Simply put, it’s you asking yourself “hey, how am I? What’s been on my mind? Am I ok?” I chose to talk about introspection today because I believe that when it comes to being a leader, whether it’s in your community, in your school, on your team, or even back at camp, you need to take time to think about yourself and improve yourself before trying to improve the lives of others.

If you want to be the good in the world, you must be good to yourself first. If you want to take care of others, you must learn to take care of yourself first. If you want to lead others, you must always lead yourself first. When you figure out who you are, what you want to be, and what you believe in, you become a stronger person. People around you will know they can trust you, can rely on you, and can look to you for help because you know how to help yourself. It is ok if you have been trying to figure out who you are and where you belong in this world. No one’s life is the same, no one has been in your shoes and seen what you have seen. I just want you to be honest with yourself. That’s the first step.

During this world crisis, everyone is home, with more time on their hands and more questions than answers. I advise you put aside the things you can’t control and start thinking about the things you can. Now is a good time to look for your identity (you’re not an attack helicopter so stop) and where you are in life. When it comes to leadership, you can see what your strengths are and where you just fall short in other places. The time is there to develop and improve, and how you do it is up to you. You will eventually learn to overcome your shortcomings, whether you do it by yourself or have to go to others for help, as long as you don’t make excuses for yourself, you win in my book. A wise man once said in a wise book I once read: “ Essentially there are two actions in life: Performance and excuses. Make a decision as to which you will accept from yourself.”

For me, a lot of my introspection happens when I’m alone. If I’m at home, I’ll be in my room with the music on and the lights off. If I’m at camp, I’ll be at the top of Brody Hill just looking at the lake (ugh, here come the memories). No matter what, sometimes you have to be alone with your own thoughts for a while, so try and find a space where you can let your guard down, loosen your shoulders, and be free of distractions. The problem many of us have is that there are so many things calling for our attention right now, so many things we have to worry about, what to do to pass the time, what will school look like in the fall, when can we go outside, will we get this job we want, when will this Call of Duty update finish, etc. All these things take away so much time that it leaves us little energy to focus on our mental and emotional health, which then can affect our physical health and how we act with others. One minute of pure thinking and reflection can be more powerful than an hour of random work. I want you all to find your space and renew your energy.

Finally, I want to let you know that introspection is not a selfish thing. If anything, treating yourself to self-care will be better for everyone around you! When it comes down to being a leader in your environment, or just doing anything where you want people to listen and follow you, you have to take a minute and ask, “If you wouldn’t follow yourself, why should anyone else?” When you start to self-reflect, and then put those thoughts into action, whether it be finding out your not comfortable with the weight you’re at, or changing how you dress, or wanting to learn a new hobby that inspires you, you will learn focus, determination, discipline, and purpose, which is vital to being a good influence to others around you. 

Camp Dudley and Camp Kiniya leaders are told throughout the summer, always find time to use for yourself. And we use this time to rest and reflect on how to use our energy, our skills, and our influence to give campers our best and nothing less. Camp, and life in general gets better every year because people who are introspective learn from what they did great before, what they could improve on, and what new things they need to try. So when you’re ready, make time for yourself, unwind for yourself, and remember, nobody can give you what you’ll find in yourself.

Stay safe, wash your hands, stand up for others, and YOHA! I’ll see you in 2021.

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