Chris May used his own experience of schooling to inspire him to do things differently when he donned the teacher’s cap.
He saw a chance to really make a difference, and by doing so he captured the attention of his male students. After all (you would think), they are at school to learn how to become well-rounded thoughtful men. Chris role models the qualities that he wants to see in the kids, and they flourish. We all do when someone shows us how to reach our own true potential.
Role modelling is by far and away the best way to achieve the change you want to see.
If you are uncomfortable with the way the world around you seems to be turning, do a stock-take of who you think you are. Are you a positive role model? Are there things that you could be doing in your community that would help others? We often assume that everybody gets the same set of instructions about life, but that’s not true.
It’s not a level playing-field. It never has been. But if we take the time to put down our pre-conceived notions of how we think things are, if we challenge ourselves to actually be informed first-hand about the life others live, we might then discover that we have something to offer. Something that is not only beneficial to others, but is also a tonic for our own tired hearts.
That’s how communities and tribes have thrived down through the ages. Those with wisdom and skills shared what they had so that the community stayed strong, resilient and self-sufficient.
We are now a few generations away from an active memory of what being part of the natural flow of life was like in a world that had smaller communities. And we are so much the poorer for this. One of the consequences of this development is not knowing what our significance is or what our responsibility to the community is.
When there is only one, two or even three degrees of separation you feel like you are an integral link in the chain of your own life and the lives of others. That experience helps shape us, mature us and make us feel relevant.
When we partake at this level of intimacy in a community we see and identify up close and personal the hearts and souls of others. I believe this experience makes us much more tolerant, compassionate, motivated, courageous, fearless and alive.
We can all, at some level, be a Chris May.