Jim Moore, a dad, a husband, alumni of South Pittsburg High School came back to school today. He will be the guest speaker at this year’s commencement in May. His life’s journey through family, music, the written word, has brought him back home. He has accepted the mantle of responsibility of age and wisdom that brings him home. Home to talk with a little more than 60 high school seniors today. Home to share a part of his life. Home to share with a small group of young men and women something that for all the ages men and women have tried to share in every form or fashion. Wisdom.
Jim’s message today was about “change.” The change you can make with others in your life if you accept that responsibility to care. The enormous impact one person can have on another’s life in just a momentary exchange of love, respect, and appreciation of their value as another human. He passed out envelopes, addressed to each senior and inside included a dollar bill. The idea, the concept, is to do as they wished with the dollar but if they chose to share their wealth with others it would multiply over and over again. Pay it forward.
What Jim may not have realized is that the talk he shared, the money he spent, the music and video he showed them matter less than his presence in front of them. He demonstrated to them that he cared about them. He showed them through his leadership that there are those individuals in the world that often pass as a blur to young eyes, people who care about them and their problems. That type of parental and educator leadership is the key to school improvement.
Now don’t get your panties in a wad and start bellyaching about all you do, time you spend, blather, blather, blather … it is not a criticisms of you and your performance. It is simply a statement about easily observed behavioral change. Look at the article about this visiting basketball star and his influence on kids in middle city and how he motivates them. Read up of the now famous Hawthorne Effect.
A true leader is a person who when absent, their leadership effects are still in place and practiced by the remaining subordinates. A leader is a person others emulate: All parents should be leaders.