My One Thing
During a recent camping trip, I had the opportunity to spend several nights in a tent on the beach, reflecting. I was reading a book on connectivity in which the author had challenged readers to find the one thing in life that is most important. Also in the book was the following Leonardo Da Vinci quote: “Fix your course to a star and you can navigate through any storm.”
I stared up at the stars above the campfire, ruminating Da Vinci’s words. What was my lodestar? After all, I’ve spent most of my adult life chasing truth and adventure in as many ways as possible. In my mind, there is very much more than “one thing in life that is most important.” I’ve found passion in nature, history, literature, art, biology, writing, philosophy, surfing, psychology, architecture and photography to name a few. I struggled to narrow the answer to just one thing.
A New Perspective
I came home with a refreshed sense of perspective yet still without completing the author’s challenge. But that evening, while sitting on the deck preparing for the new school year, the answer came to me. Like the burst of photos you take when you accidentally hold down the iPhone camera button for too long, I recalled a flood of memories of my two children growing up. Next, the lessons of 20 years of teaching flashed through my thoughts. Followed by my experiences in educational leadership.
So what is my one thing? I realized then that the most important thing in my life is making the world a better place for our children. One child at a time. This applies to my two amazing children, all the children I’ve taught over the years, and all of the children in our community and the world that need our guidance and support.
How Does My One Thing Look in Action?
At the highest level, my belief is that we should continue to remind our children of a few simple truths:
- Beauty exists everywhere in this world
- Wisdom is all around us
- Human connection is the most important element in life
- We can simultaneously learn from the great minds of the past and the children of our future
- Every child deserves to discover inspiration, passion, and a life-long pursuit of learning.
This year, the theme of this blog is to share examples of these simple truths that we find in our children. At Sand Hill, opportunity abounds. We welcome you to join our journey into a growth mindset, a mission to Mars, the struggle for personal freedoms, the independence of higher order thinking, and the exploration of brave new worlds. These adventures in learning will help each of our students find that one thing that makes life worth living.
Mr. Da Vinci. Thank you for helping me to simplify my life journey. What’s your one thing?