This is the number of children whose potential is not being realized. Countless is the number of people who are disgruntled with the current system. Countless is number of conversations I have had with those seeking more.
Boundless. This is the potential we have to enact change.
Profound. This is the type of mental shift it will require.
Resounding. This is the success we will have when we break free of the status quo.
I hear these concepts whistle through the wind of my imagination repeatedly.
Boundless potential, profound change, resounding success.
Boundless, profound, resounding.
But wind is just that. It stirs. It fades. Perhaps a few will be knocked off kilter and a few will set sail to escape, but most will remain steadfast and stubborn in the comfort of mediocrity.
I know. For far too long I have remained mediocre at many things because I did not heed the call to do more, to do better, to progress. I did not learn that last language, delve deeper into that last relationship, and challenge that last assumption.
But then I did.
I chose to unravel those assumptions. I chose to listen to a sage. I chose to make sense of that discontent nestled in my gut. I took notes. And when the breeze asked me to sway from my obstinacy, I leaned deeper into what might be and let go of what has always been.
How many of us cling to the common when common sense asks us to think differently?
When we need to redesign our approach do we? When we are encouraged to rethink our craft will we?
I have my doubts after hearing countless colleagues share their stories of deep frustration. Leaders who feel trapped by a system so anchored in the average that extraordinary appears a feeble zephyr. I have my doubts because these are good people, bright people and capable people. I have my doubts because there are so many economic benefits to maintain the system and so much politics restricting true development.
Doubt can lead to complicity; rationalization to submission and indolence to apathy. And that is not acceptable for anyone who cares about children.
We do not have to have all the answers to catch those winds of change. We can set course for a new world on a flat earth. To do so we must step from the shore on which the mundane has rooted.
Believe me, there will be chains we must break. There will be people we must offend by our ambition. There will be those aiming to drown the voyage before it begins. To kill the messengers before they sing.
But mediocrity beckons boldness.
We are too adventurous to adhere to “the way it has always been.” Just that paltry phrase should send us screaming. We know too much to teach the way we were taught. We are too intelligent to be sold the nonsense that perpetuates poor pedagogical practices.
We will bless the breeze and let it move us.
We will inquire.
We will listen.
We will research and read.
We will discover.
We will learn.
We will innovate and execute.
We will err.
We will evaluate.
We will collaborate and celebrate.
We are done with average. There is too much average out there already.
From this day forward only extraordinary will do.
Follow Todd Beane on Twitter: @_ToddBeane