World Changers class of 2007 – “Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?”
Carol wants to teach the deaf to become world-class communicators.
Linda wants to inspire people to overcome adversity.
Dan wants to free kids from addiction.
Kay wants to empower mothers to change the world.
Morgan wants to fill classical music concert halls with young people.
Claudia wants women to donate hope to women ravaged by war.
Melissa wants to increase organ donor participation.
Lenja wants to take Slovenian radio advertising into a new era.
Andy wants to teach kids in Nigeria to think creatively.
Kathy wants to embolden Native Americans to articulate their culture.
Me? (top row, dark hair, black shirt) I want to help people find jobs. Thing is, I’ve discovered that the deeper goal is to empower people to find joy, and if they find that through their jobs, great – at least I know how to help get them going in that direction.
So, this week there were eleven of us with eleven different world-changing objectives. All of us were granted generous scholarships, enthusiastically armed and then encouraged to find windmills on new horizons.
Dan asked me if I intended to post something about these three intense days. I hesitated in answering. Of course, I’m compelled to try, but how can I accurately summarize this experience? No way am I going to dare to presume how it transformed anyone else, but from the energy and excitement among us in the farewell, it was obvious that we all got something pretty damned awesome out of this.
For me the Wizard Academy’s World Changers experience
was intellectually and artistically stimulating,
made me question many perceptions,
provided insights into a few mysteries I never had names for,
emboldened and energized me,
reinforced and further clarified my vision,
very definitely improved my writing,
enabled connections with some amazing people,
and inspired me to stretch.
And that is not truly everything I gained, however the rest is nearly impossible for me to express in word language.
Roy Williams challenges… no, demands… that you use all the parts of your brain – the brain he’s just taught you about, of course. It’s rather like that piece of Robert Browning’s poem, Andrea Del Sarto, Roy shared with us, "Ah, but a man’s reach should exceed his grasp, or what’s a heaven for?"
So, how do I write about this experience? Not really sure I should say a whole lot more, Dan. This stuff might be better understood through our pursuant actions – through the hard work we’ve decided to make of our lives.
Olympic athlete, Michael Johnson, said, "Life is often compared to a marathon, but I think it is more like being a sprinter; long stretches of hard work punctuated by brief moments in which we are given the opportunity to perform at our best."
The eleven of us have been given an opportunity to perform at our best. We’ve been given an opportunity to glimpse inside ourselves to see what that best might be. Yes, all of us are committed to changing the world, however something unexpected has happened. This experience changed the world inside of us.
Many thanks to the entire staff at the Wizard Academy, to my fellow graduates of the World Changers class of 2007, and especially to you, Roy.