An Inspiring Evening

Tonight was an evening of vision, and I’m smitten. Smitten by my old friend possibility whom I haven’t seen in a while. Smitten by my muse who ocassionally calls me to crash into the rocks, and other times to remarkably clear waters. Smitten by a connection invigorated and by others rekindled. Here’s a story about love and respect:

Once upon a time I sat around an interview table in Washington’s state education agency with several people who eventually influenced me quite a bit. One of them was a kind older soul; another was a saavy system worker in training; the other was a wonderful and freakishly engaging policy guy named Greg Williamson. Since I met him almost nine years ago he and I have worked together in a variety of capacities, with this last 9 months providing an opportunity for us to strengthen our comradery and ability to succeed together. Tonight I had the privelage of sitting down to dinner with Greg and our longtime friend Wendy Lesko, for whom I have incredible respect – and who is simply an awesome person. If you haven’t read her book Youth! The 26% Solution I would suggest you do that today. So Greg and I and Wendy sat together for several hours and plotted our recent individual paths and schemes and feelings, and it was a spectacular time. I heart them both.

I was wonderfully distracted the entire time I talked with Greg and Wendy. Before that meeting I spent several hours with Melissa Helmbrecht Martin. Melissa is the head of an emerging social change empire called splashlife. For three hours she and I had the most spectacular conversation about changing the world that I’ve had in a long time. As I’ve talked about before, I have heard a lot of good ideas from a lot of good people. But getting those ideas implemented is challenging for a lot of folks. Additionally, you may know that I myself have several dreams unrealized. Talking with someone who has accomplished so much – including opening a charter schoool, running for Congress, and creating several different social change ventures – was humbling to me. She has started and finished things in a very effective way, and while I’ve started and finished things I have often wondered about my effectiveness. Melissa didn’t wonder – she knew. I need more of that type of authentic courage.

Tonight I learned a lot about myself and my friends, and I’m really grateful for that. Its good to have role models, critical friends and hope. There are many places to go from here – thanks for sharing the ride!

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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