Having an Impact

This weekend I was blessed with the opportunity to collaborate with 24 high school students from across the city of Winnipeg at a leadership conference called Manitoba Alive. I attended this program when I was in high school myself and have gone back every year since as a councillor, guest speaker and now the program director. It is one of my favourite three days of the year. Imagine three days of your life where you experience no judgement, no competition, no self-doubt and a complete invitation to just be yourself completely. Manitoba Alive is exactly this. It is what I would compare to heaven on Earth for three days. During the weekend we support each other in developing our dreams and visions. We work on our life purpose. We gain knowledge and the tools to help us get to where we desire to go. This year in particular brought together a profound group of students that truly had vision, leadership and an authentic dynamic that made everyone feel included in the group. So often in our society we tend to look at high school students as trouble-makers, out of control, un-grateful, self-centred teenagers. I have once again been proven that these societal stereotypes are just not true. This weekend I witnessed profound love and acceptance like I haven’t in quite sometime. There were students at the conference that voiced that for the first time in their lives they felt what it means to be family. How is this possible over three days to get so close to those that were strangers only days before? I sat in mediation this morning with this question of how this type of connection is possible in such a short period of time. What came to me was an image of a completely stagnate body of water. This water represented a large majority of the people in our society who live stagnate, who don’t dare to step outside of their comfort zone in fear that they will be beaten down and made fun of for who they really are. This image of stagnate water represented what many of us (no matter what age) feel when we are going through the daily grind of our life’s routines…a false sense of safety. Then all of a sudden in my contemplation, I was handed a stone to throw into the stagnate water. This stone represented taking a positive step towards growth and having a positive impact on everyone around me. I witnessed myself throwing the stone into the stagnate water and all of a sudden…BAM! There was movement. The water started rippling and before too long constant waves were flowing. There was energy and impact and shifting taking place. The amazing part of this vision was that when I looked up from the ground it was not just me standing around this body of water but 24 other people who all were taking the risk and throwing their stones into the water to make their profound impact. As all of our collective impact was felt, more and more people gathered on the edge of the water and started offering their stones. It was truly a ripple effect that reminded me that small steps towards positivity are what make profound impacts on those around us. So I leave you with this question…Will you too rise up out of the mediocrity and throw your stones into the stagnate water to offer your impact to our world? We are waiting for you!