The truth that I AM and the game that I choose to live are the context for my whole life.
I have always believed that it is vitally important for the world and its people to become more and realize their full potential. I believe that without change and transformation, we will condemn ourselves to a slow, inevitable, and inexorable extinction. What I know is that change and transformation is too important to wait for any external mandate or approval. We must become the change we want in the world. (Ghandi) And I believe that educating has a powerful role to play in the transformation and change which we each must become.
It is easy to default to kvetching about the current state of things in the world. There is always an intelligence in that dis-ease with the state of things. Typically, our response is to move away from that which discomforts us. And I know that there is no possibility of change and transformation if I live only with my dis-ease about the current conditions of the world. There is no movement forward to create what I want in my world if my response is only to move away from what discomforts me.
I know that there is no possibility of me stepping into the fullness of my capacity and potential to lead if I do not see myself as a leader and if I see myself as being held helplessly captive by structures which I believe I have no force to change. I believe that the immensity of change and transformation possible is in the size of the journey of exploration we, individually and together, are willing to have. How daring are we willing to be to live the truth of the power we hold to be leaders, explorers, and innovators? Leadership happens as I am willing to be authentically mySelf in the presence of others – open, clear and direct. We must dare to be the medium for the message of our greater potential.
At my core, I know that I am not a ‘fixer’ – someone who will say, “I know what has to be done.” and then provide strategies which others would be expected to unquestioningly implement. I am not a pundit or expert – someone who pontificates and presents themselves as being in the know while all others are in the dark. I am not a guru expecting those seeking change to visit and sit at my feet waiting for me to lay pearls of wisdom on them. I am not a Pied Piper who would lead those with questions toward a new and supposedly promised land. I am not a Messiah – a saviour of troubled systems. I have played these roles well, and my genius is that I know that the game I AM is something very different.
I am not willing anymore to try to fit in to the confines and constraints of the existing systems of our world – to attempt to make my truth fit inside the current ‘box’ expected by those systems. Systems, while they provide structure that is predictable and sure, are also there to replicate themselves. Thus, they become entrenched in the belief that there is only one way to organize and structure things. In education, this means that we are using a 19th century structure as the model to prepare for a 21st century world. We continue to make yesterday, today. Yet it is not my generation or even the next that will have impact on our potential to become more, but the generation which we teach.
What I know myself to be is a seeker. I believe that the power of change lies not only in questions but in the size of questions which we dare to ask. I know myself to be a being of light who can illuminate pathways of inquiry. I know myself as the invitation to consider something differently, and as the person who provides a safe place for everyone [including myself] to ask questions and dare to try.
Education and learning have the power to tap into the perpetual resourcefulness and curiosity which lives in each person. I believe that the future of education and, thus, of our world lies in the hands of all those who are awake to the force that they are and the potential that they wield for exploration. For me, it is always about the capacity and potential to know more, be more, know differently
All educators [anyone whose life touches children] are extremely good at working within the bounds of the systems which exist. They are very good at asking questions from the strategy level down – what am I going to teach, how will I teach it, what will I have to set up in order to teach the lesson, how will I assess it, and why am I teaching it [where ‘why’, for teachers, is how does this lesson fit into the required curriculum for the grade and course].
When I was in the classroom, that always become boring as there was nothing new for me to explore and try. Eventually, I would stop evolving and growing as an educator. For me, being an educator, has always been about more than asking the ‘nuts and bolts’ questions. I was very lucky throughout most of my career in that I had opportunities to work in several different departments, and to challenge myself, and create. Each opportunity to explore and move beyond my known comfort zone always changed and transformed me and the educator I am.
I’m seeking to be the invitation and a provocateur. As a colleague of mine once said about a student we both taught, I want to be the spoon who stirs the pot. I know that in my questioning, I can be seen as irritating to others when they feel the need, within themselves, to defend and protect what they already know. I have been known to upset the status quo since I believe that continuing to do anything simply because that is the way it has always been done and without question is deadening.
I am willing to be the irritation, the drop of water that wears away mountains of entrenched mindless habit and coma. I know that in my asking questions and considering other ways of thinking things through, others have felt themselves unable to resist the siren call of curiosity that has arisen in them and to consider their own capacity for greater expression of themselves and their own evolution. Through my questions, people can inspire themselves and realize their own capacity to be in their own inquiry about themselves and to mindfully and consciously engage with themselves and their world. In living MY Game unapologetically, my life will become the call to others to know their world can be what they choose it to be.
I am looking for playmates. I seek those who are curious about the beliefs, values and attitudes which they hold – the wherefores and whys — for teaching and educating, and being leaders of transformation in their own lives. I want to be in collective with others who are willing to examine their personal assumptions about all that is involved in living and engaging with the world for their own sense of the validity of these assumptions and who are willing to jettison the dead wood of ideas which do not stand up to their personal scrutiny. I seek those who are willing to consider ‘What else?’ and probe and consider and explore the potential capacity and possibility for change that can be. I’m drawn to those who are willing to move the conversation beyond the strategy level and to consider being an instrument of transformation. I am energized by those who are not terrified to ask questions and to consider the unknown – those who are willing to be unsure and revel in that un-surety, those who are willing to stay with their own evolution and discover who they will become. I seek those who intuitively know that they are their own game as they create what they want in their world. I seek those who know that our capacity for choice is a natural expression of our humanity.
I am looking for weavers of a strong and resilient web of transformation and creation – those who are willing to be at the same time the threads which are woven and the weavers who create new cloth.
While this may seem, to some, to be fomenting chaos, I believe that it is in chaos that energy lives as the force of creation. In saying this, I know that we do not need to ‘storm the castle walls’ in order to create and transform ourselves and the world. We do not need to do something radical. We need to be something different and dare to be open, clear, and direct about that.
It is my intention to create a safe forum for discussion where all those involved in educating in any way can feel empowered to speak their truth without fear of recrimination or sanction. I choose to share my assumptions about educating and teaching. I do not see myself as the only questioner or initiator of any discussion which will develop. I do not have a vested interest in arguing the primacy of my position by virtue of being the creator of the space or as the initiator of the discussion. My intent is to provoke discussion, thought, and mindfulness to consider something more.
I recognize that not everyone will be called to my game and I know that there are those who will be. It is not numbers as a critical mass that I seek – although as the saying goes, the more, the merrier. I know that there are those who work with kids who see the world and want to explore the possibility and potential – that there are those who have an appetite for this. I seek to connect with hearts and inquiring minds, with visionaries and wizards – people who want to explore the magic of the journey of self-discovery.
I do not believe that there is only one path to the creation of a world which can not only sustain itself but continue to transform. Thus, my goal is not to create a singularity as I know there is no one right way or single vision of what is possible, and I know that this would become a very narrow focus which would close off avenues of possibility and exploration.
My goal is to become a weaver of a web and also a part of the web. I believe that my resonance through the words I choose to use carries to others and invites and ignites their own – that others recognize their own resonance in the resonance of my words. In turn, their resonance extends to others. It is through that resonation — the threads of my words — that the web of awakened questioners will be created and grow. Individual voices collectively have impact. All that it takes is that we speak out our truth.