Letter to my younger self:
After 20 years as a teacher and administrator in K-12, it’s 1999 and I’m driving to my first Higher Ed assignment – a regional university in East Texas. Just before I enter the town, it begins to rain, and, there it is – a huge beautiful rainbow! What an affirmation that the risk I am taking is one of promise and hope. So, what should I do to let that rainbow of promise lead to a life of purpose? What can I do to affirm this foundation of potential?
Step 1: Engage: Build respectful relationships with others - engage with a diverse group of others with same and different beliefs and experiences. Engaging with the world around me contributes to growth. Always look for a bridge to our shared humanity.
Step 2: Enhance: Participate in every opportunity that comes my way. . . committees, conferences, publishing. Participating in a multitude of opportunities will broaden my reach beyond Texas and, more importantly, beyond myself to enhance my life professionally (example: research, teaching agenda) and personally. Always approach life expectantly.
Step 3: Enable: Enable others to reach their potential through mentoring and supporting their success. Always look for ways to support others.
Step 4: Enrich: Commit to life-long learning through being fully present as I listen and learn from others. There are no experiences that I will have that cannot enrich my life through deep reflection. Always seek the promise.
Step 5: Entrust: Be willing to entrust my future to the wisdom and guidance of a Higher Power. Always use the talents with which I’ve been entrusted wisely and with humility. Acknowledge, affirm, and activate these skills /abilities which have been entrusted to me to make the World a kinder, gentler place.
Step 6: Enjoy: Seek joy in the journey. . . Every step of the way.
I must remember to... Engage, Enhance, Enable, Enrich, Entrust, and Enjoy.
(Dr. Sandra Harris)