Every morning I am able to spend about thirty minutes checking my news feeds. As you can imagine, this is often a very disheartening experience. From the ends of the earth I am witness to possible pandemics, overwhelming poverty, people without a homeland, and often catastrophic weather patterns resulting in loss of life. I sit in my home (with the necessary comforts of heat and electricity) and can easily turn off this negative information and pretend it has nothing to do with me.
As educational leaders in our schools, communities and families, I believe our world has everything to do with each one of us. From our television sets to our wrists watches, we can observe and learn about our world. Does what I see and hear move me in any way? Do I feel called in any way to make a global difference?
Leadership changes the world. Sometimes our leaders make ineffective and painful choices for our world. Hopefully, they are learning. How can we teach our youth of today the leadership skills necessary to positively change our world?
I believe we are called to teach our youth what it means to have a heart of ‘mission’. We learn best from experiences! We must bring into our classrooms and communities the experiential opportunities for students to reach beyond themselves with a sense of mission; to go ‘out’ of themselves and make a difference in the lives of others. This may be volunteering once a month at a soup kitchen, or visiting residents in a retirement home. The purpose is to instill in our youth the desire to make a difference in the lives of others, expecting nothing in return. This is the ‘classroom’ where they learn the skills of leadership.