Friday, February 16, 2007

Rethinking Influence

As adult leaders, we sometimes forget the influence we have over the young lives we encounter. Despite outward appearances and words to the contrary, they look to us for answers. A great deal of the angst we see in teens today reflects a frustration toward the world of adults for not providing any guidance or answers for their deep questions. They wonder if they will ever discover who they are and their place in the world. We are in a unique position to be Obi-Wan to those students for whom we have been given responsibility.

What does Obi-Wan do for Luke? Two things: First, in the same way Menelaus affirmed the noble and mighty qualities of Telemachus, Obi-Wan summoned Luke’s heroic heritage. This is important. Because of the relentless assaults of the villain upon their hearts, adolescents tend to be unable to see their own strength. Sometimes it takes the wisdom of another to show it to them. We have the opportunity to look for the good in our students and shine a light on it. As adult leaders, our words are far more powerful than we can imagine. Use this power for good!

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