Challenge and Initiative

February 22, 2013 at 10:04 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The word challenge is used a lot. We hear everyday about various challenges individuals, groups, communities and the greater global village has. Sometimes this word is interchangeable, some may use issues, problems or difficulty instead. Each word can evoke both similar and very dissimilar responses, such is the power of language and the thoughts, words and actions that it can bring on.

“Being challenged in life is inevitable, being defeated is optional” -Roger Crawford

Many times the degrees of hope or hopelessness associated with ‘challenge’ can be witnessed through the empowerment or lack of action of who is affected. This can be influenced by the patterns of learnt/past experiences or attitudes overtaking the ability to face up to what’s in front of us and our connection to self and others, networks of supportive and inspiring individuals and groups. The initiative we show, that personal responsibility for decisions that drive action, creatively persevering through both successes and challenges, impacts the outcome that is achieved.

“Take stands, take risks, take responsibility” -Muriel Siebert

I have always loved facilitating challenge initiatives for participants of camp or in-school programs. Each group will explore, discover and act in different ways, providing a chance to reflect on the thoughts, words and actions of those individuals, processing where they’re at, evaluating the positive or negative consequences to the group’s success and examining more effective ways of achieving the results or goals that are being strived for. It is a learning journey that we are all on, our ability to grow our awareness and appreciation for the difference we are all able to make is ultimately up to us, through the courage to show up, use initiative and be responsible for the choices we make.

“Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved” -William Jennings Bryan

The students I worked with yesterday, just like all the participants I have worked with over the years, inspire me to seek new and innovative challenges to provide within our programs. The enthusiasm, energy, curiosity, team work, problem solving, communication and the list could go on, that is required throughout the experiences provides valuable opportunities for individuals to experiment and experience the quote below:

“Success isn’t final, failure isn’t fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts” -Winston Churchill

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It Takes A Village…

February 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What we individually and collectively want for the precious babies that are born into our world mirrors the core values and vision we have for our lives as humans. Whether it is love, health, happiness, opportunity, connection or freedom, the beginning of each journey is filled with hope, dreams and potential. What role then do we all play in helping each individual journey towards these aspirations? The famous African proverb, ‘It takes a village to raise a child’ illustrates the powerful contribution we can all make in each individuals journey of potential.

Have you ever been at sea in a dense fog, when it seemed as if a tangible white darkness shut you in and the great ship, tense and anxious, groped her way toward the shore with plummet and sounding-line, and you waited with beating heart for something to happen? I was like that ship before my education began, only I was without compass or sounding line, and no way of knowing how near the harbour was. “Light! Give me light!” was the wordless cry of my soul, and the light of love shone on me in that very hour.
– Helen Keller

Our education does not begin in Kindergarten and end when we leave school, only occurring within the confines of the classroom. This form of education is only one element of the complex development of the mind, body and soul. Our education is experiential and ongoing, through each of our interactions with self, others and the world around us. From the earliest age we are observing, experimenting, interpreting, evaluating and choosing how to express or limit our potential through what we learn from experiences within our ‘village’. This then is a shared responsibility that we all take on, of inspiring individuals to ‘be the change they wish to see in the world’

Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.
– James Baldwin

The attached video from the Dalai Lama Centre is such a timely message. In our global village, the fostering of values like compassion, acceptance and tolerance produce such profound ripples that are felt, near and far, by individuals and groups, empowering individual and shared potential. Many governments around the globe are debating ‘education’ and how to ‘revolutionise’ their school systems. Assisting in the development of socially and emotionally capable young people, as is mentioned in the video, would hopefully be at the heart of these discussions. Building skills, attitudes and value driven actions through a balanced and holistic ‘education’, supported, reinforced and strengthened through the connection of many layers within the ‘village’ is a continual journey, one that takes reflection, leadership and the fulfilment of our core human vision for those entering this adventure.

What sculpture is to a block of marble
education is to the human soul.
– Joseph Addison

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