It was amazing to be there at MEC, back in the building and the atmosphere where the whole story began. Sharing the memories, the joys, the heartache, the anger of the dreaded 'anonymous letter' and the tragedy of Shane's passing. Fifty-some pairs of eyes upon us, encouraging us on, engaged in our story and being open and willing share their own experiences. It was an amazing afternoon, and we both so appreciate those children and their teachers who spent the time with us.
But isn't there always something so cathartic about sharing our story and our memories and our learning with those that we hope will carry that seed of insight with them into their own day to day lives? The vibrant, engaged faces of those beautiful children gave me absolute hope that the story we shared will live on, that lessons will be digested and shared, that wisdom will be passed along by them to others whose lives they will reach.
That's really what all of life, and this work in particular, is about isn't it? Having the courage to stand in the middle of our messy, heartbreaking, earth shattering stories...and trust that the listener is walking that path with us as we work our way through the memories...good and bad, sweet and sour, life nurturing and soul challenging. Our greatest of human hopes is that when we've had the courage to share that deep, protected part of ourselves with another that our vulnerability in doing so will be honored and respected. That the lessons learned and shared will be seen as the valuable possibilities that they are. Possibilities of a better time, a better understanding, a better future and a better world for all of us, regardless of our strengths and abilities.
My deepest gratitude to those students for your kind attention and engagement as Trem and I shared. My fondest wish is that you'll remember pieces of Shane's story and message as you travel on through life. I hope you know the power and the impact that your understanding and sharing those lessons may possess, because you are the generation that has the potential to change the world as we know it. As young as you may be now, you have the wisdom, the tools and the technology to be leaders in a tomorrow that will see all persons valued as equal and all people embraced by their communities. What a gift you are this world of ours! Thanks for being you!