At this moment in time, I feel blessed. I was granted the opportunity by NELSON Publishing, shameless plug here, to attend the We Day held in Calgary yesterday. I can actually say that it had a profound impact on me as I watched the youth of our province rally together, screaming and dancing, to commit to making the world a little better. As a father, I was pleased that my eldest daughter was there to share in the energy of the day, and a bit disappointed my younger two couldn’t be. As an educator, I felt that the potential of this generation was being tapped and given a more empathetic direction. As a Canadian, I felt proud, proud that we have an organization that can empower our youth to make a positive impact on this world. It was a good day to be present for our youth, a good day to re-evaluate what it is that I contribute to making this world a little bit better.
Highlights of the day, for an old man at least:
1. Martin Sheen – what an inspiration! His articulate, compassionate talk really reached the crowd. His message to our youth is that we really can make a difference with the right fire. My favorite quote of the day came from him, and I noticed my daughter added it on her Social Media tags. The quote, “One heart with courage is a majority.” Think of that when we look at our modern day heroes and the struggles they had to put up with to follow their hearts, Nelson Mandella, Mahatma Ghandi, Nellie McClung . . .
2. Spencer West – a man of profound perseverance. Spencer, born with no legs, had the doctors tell his parents that he would likely never be a contributing member, or even a functional member, of society. But he proved them wrong and acts as a strong example of what one can accomplish with the right attitude. Spencer climbed Kilimanjaro, on his hands! What struck me about Spencer was that he admitted freely that he knew there were parts of the journey where he would need to be carried by his friends and his attitude, “Good leaders know there are times when they need to ask for help.”
3. Molly Burke – a young lady, whose ability to overcome being bullied and complete blindness, was overshadowed by her conviction to remain active for what she believes in. Supporting those who cannot support themselves.
4. The Kielburger brothers – Holy Red Bull! Here is a whole pile of energy all being focused on helping this world be a little better. These two gentlemen have a unwavering belief in the youth of our country and in is contagious. I am in awe of what they have done for those who are less fortunate. They have managed to rally over 100,000 students to We Day events and that has built wells throughout the world, constructed schools and fed the malnourished. I cannot say enough about these fine young men.
5. MUSIC – Hedley, Lights, Marrianna’s Trench . . . all there just in support. They played their music with energy and enthusiasm and, well they did not speak, they certainly showed their support forWe Day through their attendance. This means a lot for the youth who idolize them. They act as beacons . . .it is cool to care.
These are only 5 examples of why I am so impressed with We Day and I could add 50 more. What can I really take from the day, other than the fact that I know I need to do more personally? I have a renewed belief in our youth. I believe this earth is in good hands with this generation and perhaps, just perhaps, this is the generation which will carry on the dreams of the 60’s but in a much more concrete way. I am humbled to see the potential here.