The Funeral of “I Can’t”

(Adapted from Chicken Soup For the Soul)

The words, “I can’t” have no place in a Frontier Girls meeting.  Frontier Girls is a place to show girls just what they “can” do and to show them how to focus on what they “will” be able to do.  Just because they are not capable of something now, does not mean they never will be.  Sometimes this means practicing a skill until it is mastered; sometimes it means thinking outside the box to do something in a way that “can” be done instead of just accepting the “can’t” of the current moment.

To encourage your girls to remove “I can’t” from their vocabulary, try holding a funeral for “I can’t” and put her to rest.  Take as much time as they need for each girl to make a list of all of the things that she cannot do: “I can’t draw a horse.” “I can’t sing.” “I can’t spell well.” All of the things that she cannot do.  Leaders should do this as well.

Fold the papers in half and place them into an empty shoe box. Put the lid on the box and take it outside with a shovel. Dig a hole for the box. Allow each girl to take a turn digging if she desires.  Gently place the shoebox in the hole.

Leader: “Girls, please join hands and bow your heads.” Form a circle around the grave.

“Friends, we gathered here today to honor the memory of ‘I Can’t.’ While she was with us here on earth, she touched the lives of everyone, some more than others. We have provided ‘I Can’t’ with a final resting place. She is survived by her sisters, ‘I Can’ and ‘I Will’.  They are not as well known as their famous relative and are certainly not as strong and powerful yet. Perhaps some day, with your help, they will make an even bigger mark on the world. May ‘I Can’t’ rest in peace and may everyone present pick up their lives and move forward in her absence. Amen.”

Return to your meeting place and hold a “wake” with snacks. You can cut a large tombstone from butcher paper and write the words “I Can’t” at the top, RIP in the middle, and the date at the bottom. If possible, hang the tombstone in your meeting place for an entire year.

When a girl forgets and says “I Can’t”, simply point to the RIP sign. She will hopefully remember that “I Can’t” is dead and choose to rephrase the statement.

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