Wednesday, December 27, 2006

It's OK - I'm With the Band

I've been thinking a lot recently about how I'd like my business to do something with education in high schools in addition to our work with businesses. There have been two things I've experienced recently that have reinforced this calling for me.

The first was the November 9 episode of Oprah in which high school students were transformed during Challenge Day. Real change and connection is possible, according to this episode, which profiled Monroe High School in Michigan, where racial tensions were high, and cliques and bullying were very evident. This episode showed an example of what can happen when people learn to really listen and communicate to turn personal baggage around. Teachers and students alike showed what is possible when people really communicate with each other and listen. I was very inspired and want to do something to bring this "Power of Possibility," as Oprah called it, to my local high schools.

The second was a halftime show I saw at a recent North Dakota State basketball game where I am a statistician. The entertainment was a high school pep band from Ada-Borup High School, about an hour away in Minnesota. I don't think I can remember seeing a pep band spread out all over the gym floor for a halftime show. But I don't think I've ever seen a high school pep band like Ada-Borup's. You can see more about this amazing band here. I understand that it can be really cool to say you're with the band after seeing how much fun those kids were having - and creating - that night.

Both of these incidents showed that it is OK to be who you are, whether you're in high school or at any stage of your life. People really are much more alike than they are different.

It is definitely possible to change the world one person at a time - and that one person is you (and me). What conversations are you having in your life that could lead to deeper relationships? Where might you be able to listen more and talk less? How can you be the change you want to see in the world?


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