This is a task that is a continual work in progress for me. I have been putting off writing this 'where will I be ten years from now' and then stopped to think: rather than force myself to write this, why not reflect on why this seems difficult? So here goes...
I know the power of imagination. I have been blessed and privileged enough to imagine something and then watch it, near instantaneously, manifest itself into creation, usually before I consider myself 'ready'. As a result I try to be mindful, and very intentional in what I am creating as a reality.
Is my imagination big enough? Small enough? Inclusive enough? Open enough? I find that there is a host of things I know I know...an exponential number of things I know I don't know...and an infinite number of things I don't know that I don't know. Often this causes me to pause creating my intentions, thinking about the infinite number of ways I am limiting myself that I don't even know about! I could always imagine more fully.
Another hesitation is being ready to walk into my new reality. If I imagine myself with such heroic greatness, am I going to be able to actually thrive in that reality? Would it be possible that I create a magnificent reality that I could fail miserably in? And more importantly, am I willing to change my current reality? Am I willing to surrender the, my, status quo?
(Agent Challenge of the Day!)
THIS is something I challenge all Agents to consider: Am I willing to surrender the, MY, status quo?
At some level we all already have. (congratulations!!!) Yet, it is a scary and wonderful thing to know we are empowered to do this. And, that we are capable.
While I've yet to make it to a ten year prediction, my hope for today is that tomorrow I will have the courage to surrender my status quo, to imagine greatness and peace for all of us, that I can always imagine a new reality for tomorrow, and that we all put one foot/hand/paw/wing/fin/breath in front of the other until our process of getting 'there' becomes our 'there'.
To be continued....
The majority of my day to day work used to consist of training educators in the US school system, and developing online trainings to support them. The organization I work for, Committee for Children, develops remarkable curriculum for children that teaches them how to build their empathy, impulse control, emotion management, problem solving, friendship and personal safety skills through a program called Second Step http://www.cfchildren.org/programs/ssp/overview/
. My job therefore is to train educators in how to teach children these life long peacemaking skills.
I presented EVOKE to my organization for the first time back on April 5, 2010. I told my director that gaming presented a fascinating and exciting new way to do this that extends far beyond the traditional realm of teacher training. The idea of getting people to work harder while enjoying their work more sounded magical to me. What if people were self motivated to work harder at having empathy? Or problem solving? Or building friendships? Now, what if every teacher in every city, and child in every school had access to this??? Mind blowing, huh? Lofty ideas at the time, especially considering the status of the education budget at revisions to No Child Left Behind. But there was hope.
Well it worked. We collaborated with Jane McGonigal to develop a revolutionary style of education and teacher training. Student curriculum takes on a wh*** new meaning now. Children participate in Second Step
Evoke, a game that teaches children empathy, impulse control, emotion management, problem solving,
friendship and personal safety skills. Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Temple, and armfuls of schools of higher education that are working toward training compassionate and well prepared teachers are knocking at our door. We collaborated with USIP (United States Institute for Peace), the National Peace Academy, Universities for Peace, ASCD, CASEL and various other organizations. We are in negotiations for developing a Wii game for after school programs. The Dalai Lama returns to Seattle for the decade celebration of the Seeds of Compassion Event and awards us. Barbara Walters calls to tell us this project has been the greatest achievement she's seen in her lifetime. Oprah hosts a season long spotlight doc**entary on the project. The effects of the program are undeniable and the government is considering mandating this program in every school as a standard part of the curriculum. We have found funding to help all of our international partners develop and disseminate translated versions of the game. I am on my way to Istanbul to celebrate our 10th International Consortium.
Tonight, I have volleyball practice and then I'm off to dance rehearsal. I get the call upon my return. Alchemy holligraphs a team of Agents into my living room for an urgent meeting and explains my next mission...Seeking ALLIES and EVOKERS to assist in the creation of this project. Please friend me and stay in touch. Would love to hear specifically from EDUCATORS, GAME DEVELOPERS, INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGNERS, RESEARCHERS, and ANYONE who wants to actively support this idea!