I think the only way to put into words what I am feeling right now is to put it into a heart to heart. And of course as usual, my inspiration coming in at 4:45 am.... the trusty blog gets to hear it.
So without further ado.... the last heart to heart of the year titled:
Who's going to change the world?
I heard a story once about a major university inviting a very successful businessmen to speak in the huge basketball auditorium to the entire student body on "Leadership in the 21st century" After being flown in, wined and dined, and of course paid thousands of dollars, the businessman got up to give his speech. He first thanked the board and the president for inviting him to speak then he says, "I have a question for everyone in attendance today. Who here is going to change the world?" 6-7 people in the audience of thousands raised their hands. The speaker said, "Will you come down?" Nervously those 6-7 people came down to the stage where the speaker was kicking off all the dignitaries and making a small semi circle of chairs for those few who had raised their hand. After they all sit down the speaker starts talking to them. The rest of the thousands in attendance sat quietly for a little while clearly confused but as time went on they started to talk getting louder and louder. When it got unbearably loud the speaker went back to the microphone and said, "excuse me, could you please quiet down. I'm trying to teach to the leaders of the 21st century."
Why is it that so few people raised their hands? Well let's take it to a classroom level. What would happen today if one of you walked into our classroom and said, "Hey guys, I think I am going to try and change the world." What would our reaction be? How would we treat that person? Why would we laugh at them? Make fun of them? Sarcastically wish them good luck? You are right, it's just like our heart to heart on crabs. We love to pull each other down.
I have only shown two movies this year. *Gandhi and the Power of One And you guys know me well enough now. Did I show those movies because I'm just a lazy teacher that didn't want to teach? What did both of those movies have in common? They are both about normal regular people that make huge sacrifices to "change the world".
It is now the end of the year. I've done everything in my power to try and teach you and mold you into being better people. Next time we are even going to do a writing excersize on how you are a different person than you were when you walked in through that door 9 months ago. But today. I want to leave you with one last bit of advice. To explain this advice I want to show you two different graduation speeches.
Wear Sunscreen or listen to the song made from the speech here.
Renaissance of Kings (I edited this speech down to one page, took religion out of it, and changed the title to Renaissance of Heroes for my heart to heart)
What did we like about the Sunscreen Song.
What did we like about the Renaissance of Kings
Now I want to compare these two speeches. What is the different between the two?
The Sunscreen speech is all good advice. It's all about how to make your life good. It's about you. Focusing on you. If we had to change the name of this speech what could we change it to? "How to get from here to death as painlessly as possible."
What about the other speech. What is it about? It is about the battle of fighting darkness. It is about how people are not the enemy, people are the prize. It's about making personal sacrafices to improve the world. How we can all play our small but significant part in changing the world. It's about how we can live a life of purpose and meaning helping bring others to the light. It's about how to win people. Sure we aren't made of steal, part spider, or a billionaire with a sidekick named Robin but we were all created to do great and be great.
Guys, I've spent all year trying to show you that people are the prize. We've spent all year learning about other countries, cultures, other people. We learned how they live, worship, and think. But I have taught you nothing if you didn't get that although they might look different, speak different, and act different in the end we are all the same. All loving caring human beings that just want to be happy.
Now just like Gandhi or PK or heck, even Harry Potter, we all have a choice. We get to choose what path we live. Do we want to just try to get from here to death as painlessly as possible or do we want to become great? It's a conscious choice. We all get to decide. In 65 years at your 80th birthday party what do you want people say about you? Who do you want to become? What do you want to be?
So the rest of the class period is yours. On that paper in front of you I want you to explore your dreams of how you were meant to be great. What you can do to fight against darkness. And write what you want people to say about you in 65 years at your 80th birthday party.
Then when you are done, come seal it in an envelope and I'll hand it back on yearbook day so you can tape it into your yearbook so in 10, 20, 30 years from now you can read it.