I am excited. I got to spend last evening with a group of young up and cominger’s looking to make a difference in our city. They are engaged in the United Way of Calgary’s BeCause initiative and its Urban Exposure Project. Last night, I got to engage in conversation around photography, and story-telling, and the exploration of the stories they want to tell of what ‘more’ they want to create in our city through the photographs they are taking of our what makes a difference to them and to Calgary.
I want to inspire people to know that together we can make a difference, said one young man who shared his ideas for how through the agencies he’s visited with UEP he’s seen the impact each agency is making on creating change in our city. He wants to inspire people to take action, or, as another young man suggested, encourage people to be bold. Believe. Get involved.
It was inspiring. Uplifting. Energizing and I came away, as I so often do after engaging in conversation with ‘the next generation’, I felt reassured. I know the world is in good hands. I know that there are those who care, who want to create the change they want to see in the world. Those who are willing to step out of their comfort zones to see and feel and share and learn.
When I asked one young woman what moves her, what change she wants to see in the world she replied that it’s all about community. What does community mean for you, I asked. And she shared how visiting the agencies who support people in need, the homeless, the disenfranchised, youth at risk, she realized no one can do it alone. Change is a community undertaking.
Get clear on the change you want to create, I challenged the group. Ask yourself, what change do I want to create in my city? What do I want more of in my life? What values/characteristics are important to me.
And then, tell your stories through the lens of what you are passionate about. Speak through the voice of what it is that’s important to you. What do you want to see more of in our world?
It’s not a head or belly kind of question. It’s all heart. What is that I want to see more of in the world? In my life? What do I want more of?
And what am I willing to do to create it?
Am I willing to take the path of harmony, not discord? Am I willing to give up drama to create peace? Am I willing to let go of the story I tell myself why I can’t, to accept that I can?
Am I willing to surrender and fall into Love?
As we explored the stories and ideas the group shared, I was reminded of how fragile, and beautiful, and delicate the human spirit is. I was reminded that we all have dreams. We all have the need to connect, to find a sense of meaning in our lives and to feel part of something bigger than… just ourselves going through the motions of living day to day.
We are beings of light. We dream. We fly. We fall. We leap. We have moments of doubt. We have moments of bliss. We have times when all we can do is put one foot in front of the other in the hope that each footstep will lead away from where we are, that place we don’t want to be, to where we can and do feel connected to eachother, our communities, the world beyond the sphere of our knowing.
I had a conversation with a group of 20 – 40 year olds last night. Men and women seeking to express what it is they want to see in the world through stories they tell with the photographs they’ve taken of our city.
I am excited.
I am hopeful.
The change we want to see in our world is possible. The love, joy, beauty, community, spirit, connection, kindness, acceptance — it’s all here. It’s all possible. BeCause, there are people engaged in making it happen. There are bright, shining stars willing to do whatever it takes to be the change they want to see in the world.
Yup. I am excited.