Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Inspirational People - Get In The Boat

Get In The Boat – Part 2

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” 
Andre Gide

Sometimes an opportunity to do something quite different will come your way. To stretch yourself and cross over to the something new that is calling to you. You might hesitate, not sure, if you are up to the challenge. However, if the call is strong enough, you know you at least ought to give it a try.

Seven years ago, at the age of seventy-five, Jan, knowing I was looking for a new avenue to direct my energy, called me to say she knew just the place for me. Jan was then the principal of a Kindergarten through twelfth grade school, aimed at educating and serving at-risk children. The place Jan thought would be perfect for me was at her school. The school was located in a crime and gang-infested community. Jan needed a librarian and couldn’t afford to hire one.

“Wait a minute!” I shouted over the phone. First of all I am not a librarian. Also, remember I have visited this school and I know it sits next to the worst gang park in Phoenix and in the highest crime rated zip code in the city. Jan's response was simple, “Mom, you love kids and you love books and I need you. The school is a perfectly safe place. I believe you could make a difference.”

Did I hesitate? You bet I did. I had one foot in the boat, but the other one was stuck on dry land in my very safe comfortable world. After giving it some more thought, and not wanting to disappoint Jan, in went the other foot and I found myself sailing off to a new adventure.

And a great adventure it has been.

I have found 130 new friends, from kindergarten to high school. I have had some of the most exciting experiences and I have grown in confidence and ability. I have read to and hugged the little children, and shared life experiences with teenagers.

Jan was right. I could do it. I feel very blessed to have had this opportunity to stretch myself.

Do yourself a favor and get in the boat. You may find that often the greatest discoveries come when you venture into uncharted territory with no map.

By Lois Jamieson

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