Bold Action

By Christine Mason, CEI Executive Director.

How are you managing change in your school?  Is it systematic, orderly, incremental, step by step?  Or because of all the demands that are being thrust on you right now, does it feel a bit chaotic?  Do you wish it could be more orderly?

How ready are you and staff for the changes that are occurring?

BeachToday I am working at the beach, sitting on the balcony on the bay side overlooking a path and parking lot and observing the enthusiasm of those around me – lots of coming and goings and lots of excitement. The voices of youth who are actively running, jumping, and even intentionally falling into the water. The world around me is alive and it is obvious that people are enjoying themselves.

Sitting here, I am imagining what it must be like for the youth who don’t have this opportunity. And I keep seeing the words of Tom Peters (1994) , “disorganize, abandon everything, go beyond empowerment, go beyond change.”  In essence his book title says it all  “Crazy Times Call for Crazy Organizations.”  And it makes me wonder. What if our society wasn’t organized as it? What if schools were more like play grounds?  What if 90% of the wealth didn’t rest with 10% of the people? What if these somewhat artificial boundaries between countries were to disappear?

What if play was the work?

What would we do if the world was upside down, topsy-turvy, rearranged?

Okay, hold on a minute. Close your eyes and imagine all of this. 1,2,3 keep going, stay with it. Perhaps a bit chaotic? After all we need rules. If we were to start from chaos, would we work to create order and if so, what would it look like?  Would we perhaps insert a little more fun in our lives? Perhaps a bit more compassion and empathy?  Would we perchance spend a little more time observing and listening, letting the kids lead us? Close your eyes and imagine the New World Order. Consider one country or one community, perhaps even one school, one class. How would this new world operate?

I look around me day in and day and wonder, when will the violence end?  What will it take for our communities to be whole and healing?  Perhaps a little imagining and then perhaps the boldness to step off the path, to guide others on a new trail, perhaps reinventing ourselves in the moment.


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