The anticipation built as Oct. 24th – WE Day – approached. At 4 a.m., the bus rolled up in front of the school. Despite the time, the energy was evident as we boarded the bus.
The speakers lived up to expectation: Molly Burke, Larry King, Liz Murray, Martin Sheen, Ashley Calllingbull, Spencer West and of course, Marc and Craig Kielburger themselves. I have been asked countless times for a highlight moment. It is difficult to choose. Larry King, king of interviews said, “I never learned anything while I was talking.” Liz Murray, in talking about her addict parents and not resenting them for her childhood of turmoil, said, “People can’t give you what they don’t have.” Simple, yet incredibly profound.
Were these my highlight moments? After some thought, I realized that for me, the highlights were the looks on the kids’ faces during the speeches and performances. As expected, different kids responded to different things. I saw eyes light up, tears well and ideas begin to formulate. I heard conversation about global issues that these students may not have even considered previously. I saw moments of empowerment.
Consider this: Do we allow the voices of our children to be heard? Do we believe our children have valuable insights to contribute? Do we believe they can make a difference in our world, not 20 years from now, but today? Do we believe our children can move from me to we? These questions were answered for me by 20 000 students in the Saddledome. Wish you were there to experience it!
I leave you with this thought: “Perhaps the most powerful people are those who empower others – with no strings attached.” (Author unknown.) Isn’t that what leadership is all about?