The Bija Children's Choir is 8 yrs old this year. Awesome! The number 8 has been said to stand for infinite flow and karmic equalization. It's also one of the most popular age groups of our student body, so I've found it interesting to reflect on what turning 8 means in a person's development and how these things might also relate to the Bija Choir program.
According to Dr. Katherine Lee, 8yr olds are all about expanding their worlds. They show more independence from their parents. They begin to think about their futures, understand more about their place in the world, and pay more attention to friendships and teamwork. They want to be liked by others.
Sound familiar if you have an 8yr old? I've raised two daughters and can attest to these truths. Does the same apply to a small nonprofit organization like ours?
I do think of the Bija Choir as its own young person that I've cared for deeply, and poured my time and resources into since birth along with the support of a village. Turning into a 501c3 nonprofit four years ago was kind of like sending it to preschool, inviting others to help in the care and guidance of its well-being. The Bija Choir Board of Directors have become the "parents" of this organization, contributing their multitude of skills, creative ideas and wisdom to its mode of operations.
Like other 8yr olds, we as an organization are now starting to think more about our future and our place in the greater world. How we will sustain our program through the inevitable changes of membership and socio-economic climate. We're becoming more intentional about our affiliations with like-minded organizations who care about keeping our youth creative, educated, conscious, and socially/culturally accepting. We feel honored to be liked and valued in the community, demonstrated every time someone recommends our program to friends.
Dr Lee writes that in parenting 8yr olds, it's important to focus on efforts, of what they can do and change, rather than "innate" characteristics such as being a clever or slow learner, a difficult or easy personality, etc. I love this approach in terms of the Bija Choir, because our organization is shaped by the families that are drawn to and invest themselves in it, meaning that our identity is evolving and maturing, just like children do. Being 8 is a great age, and we're going to have a great season ahead!