It does not matter who you are, what you believe in, any of it. What I got today, despite the religious affiliation that is there, is so pertinent to everyone today. For me, I might add faith into it, but that is who I am. Please read on to hear of the what I encountered.
Today I saw the one of the most amazing things. I heard twelve of the nineteen 8th grade speeches at Mother Seton Academy in Baltimore. They were beyond great and extremely heartfelt. It really made me shrink in my chair as well as lean forward in extreme interest in what they had to say.
First, let me explain the little that I know about the school. Mother Seton is a Nativity school, grades 6-8. It is co-ran by six different Catholic religious orders. One of the orders is the Marianists, whom some of you know I am volunteer interning with this year. The families have to apply in order to send their students there. Acceptance is based on economic status and dedication to education, among many other things. Of all the applicants to start in the school, which they do in 6th grade, only 12 girls and 12 boys are accepted. They only really take in kids starting in 6th grade. Even if kids drop, they do not replace them. People will sponsor students, paying for tuition. Some sponsors go as far and paying for high school tuition, and even at times helping them with college. There are many people in support of what this school does and stands for.
So, in 8th grade the kids have a speech competition. They are given a theme of some sort to work of off. The format is funnel speeches where they start with a story, move into the body, then loop back to the story. This years theme was “We must risk to heal the world…” and then they finished the sentence. Phrases continued using words like “from” or “with” or at times, “by.” Examples: “from lies” and “with the pursuit of excellence” where two among the ones I heard today. They started with saying the initial phrase, not stating their theme until the funnel is finished, or the story is finished. When that funnel into the body is finished, they state again “We must risk to heal the world…” then add their theme, like the two examples I gave.
The time and energy, power, and emotion those students put into the speeches astounds me. I was brought to near tears by some of the things I heard them talking about. Humbled is only one of the words I felt being in that room today. The extent of their knowledge, the wisdom of their experience, the power fo their feelings, the strength of their point of view…beautiful. I left there feeling a bit more empowered by those students; my fear of giving talks seems to have subsided some more, in addition to having given one not too far long ago and not freaking out during it. I lose myself now. All I can say is it was simply amazing what I heard and saw today. My only wish is that I could have seen them all and had my own recordings.
Here is what I want to challenge you all with. Please, if you have read this far, seriously look at this. Think about these questions.
With what will you risk to heal the world?
From what will you risk to heal the world?
By what will you risk to heal the world?
We must risk to heal the world! How are you going to finish that sentence? With what? From what? By what? What is it that you are going to risk? I say you, but it is a group effort. The thing is, it has to start somewhere, right? Don’t count on the next person over, they would all most likely be doing the same you are. So right now, in your heart, what are you feeling is the risk you must take to heal the world? Here is what is on mine right now.
We must risk to heal the world with understanding!