Drip by Drip, A Future is Built

Rushing Water

Image courtesy of Trey Ratcliff, http://www.stuckincustoms.com

My daughter in law school sent me the link to Whitworth University’s commencement address by a young lady named Jena Nardella.  You can see the speech in its entirety here.

Her point is simple, yet poignant. Our lives and journeys are the sum of countless small steps, stops and starts, and to jump past any of those building blocks is to lose a precious experience. She refers eloquently to the “uneven up and down, 3 steps forward 2 steps back nature of both work and life amidst challenging circumstances, broken relationships, and deep-set cultural constraints.”

A good friend of mine, and the founder of the Seedling Foundation, once put it like this. “I am only one person, but I can be a small drip for God and join with others to form a stream and eventually a mighty river.” Even with that imagery in mind, he accepts that each project will be a “brick by brick” (often literally!) proposition and it may take years to truly impact a school community.

Our American culture usually focuses on the end game. We care about the score, the outcome, the end product and the all important results. I have learned the hard way that life,and the children in it don’t work that way.

There are people in the business world who would like it very much if we could somehow quantify success, come up with a process to replicate it again and again, and come out the end with a quality product in education.

That product being, of course, your children.

I have worked in business and I have volunteered in education. I have parented two young people to adulthood. I have observed thousands of families and individuals over the years and the one thing I can tell you with total confidence is this: There is no one way to success. Continue reading