Strengthening Our Resolve, On a Morning Like This

By Sue Walsh


On too many mornings, we hear of horrific loss and suffering at the hands of extremists determined to send a message through violence.

Today is such a morning.

On a 24/7 news feed, we are drawn into scenes that are no longer strange or unexpected, but are nonetheless beyond words.

We depend on others, sitting in other seats, responsible for other duties, to address this horrible reality and to take care of this deadly business in our world.

And there are those who depend upon us, in our seats, responsible for our duties, to take care of another deadly business – the under-education of too many children in our country who need powerful friends in education. Powerful friends who are smart and driven and humble enough to say, “Let me be responsible. Let me lift up the work. Let me push myself out of what I am already good at, where I am already comfortable and proven, and do things that I am not yet good enough at and at which I am not yet proven. Let me work with energy and grace to replicate the DNA of a successful school, make this vision real for my children, and grow into the leader this new school needs me to be.”

Fear can be a good thing – it can mobilize us into action, it can make clear the forces that are in opposition to our work, it can strengthen our resolve.

A healthy fear of respecting our opponent – our own gaps, our own growth points, the knowledge that saying it does not make it happen, the knowledge that execution is everything. The fear of not getting it right can put gas in our tanks to do what must be done – and the beauty of what we have seen in real schools across the country proves what is possible.

Why is there not a game-changing school in your community? Because you have not yet taken the responsibility to build it – hour by hour, day by day, detail by detail, hire by hire, item by item, and you are not yet in the driver’s seat to operationalize the vision that now sits on paper and in words. When you take the wheel, there will be 500 children in the vehicle with you. Everything matters. Everything.

This morning, we honor and challenge the doers in the world. And we resolve to be responsible, honest in ourselves and challenging ourselves to the task.

We revere and serve the work – work that is bigger than we are, needing us so badly, full of joy and promise and the call to be responsible.