A highly-recognized and respected education leader approached me earlier this year to share a story about how an interaction with me 5 or 6 years ago changed her perspective and altered her professional practice. I didn’t remember the event, but she recalled vivid details and recounted them for me as she thanked me.
At the time, she was a lecturer at a storied Ivy League university and was delivering a case study to a group of education leaders from across the country. During our conversation she shared that I challenged her a bit during her lecture and attempted to push the conversation from a theoretical exercise into one that was more deeply rooted in the realities and consequences for our children and their families. My pesky questions and perspective apparently did not fit her lesson plan and she now laughed about how she politely tried to blow me off even though her conscious was pricked.
In speaking with me this year, she shared, “I left that room thinking 1) That woman is absolutely brilliant and someone should try and steal her from CPS (where I was working at the time), 2) How did I completely ignore that aspect of the case? and 3) If I ever get a chance, I will let her know that this brief interaction had an impact on how I’ll think about my work from now on.”
I was absolutely floored!
So let me remind you all of the tremendous power you have to impact the lives around you – even when you don’t know you’re doing it. I don’t really believe in coincidences. I believe to my core that we’re all brought into situations and lives for a greater purpose – which sometimes isn’t about you at all. Never forget that. And never waste an opportunity to share your truth and speak truth to power. You are placed where you are for that PRECISE purpose.