The day my students and I visited Restore Academy we sat in on a lesson on Character Development. Like Math, English, History, or Science, the subject matter is an integral part of the school's curriculum. It is taught every Thursday with the intent of raising up leaders in Uganda who are men and women of integrity. In a country where corruption runs rapid, these students ARE the future hope of their nation.
Just before lunch time the teacher presented a 4 point lesson on Effective Decision Making and as he did I jotted down a few notes in my journal.
1. Critical Thinking
2. Creative Thinking
3. Problem Solving
At point number two, the teacher paused to have the students practice creative thinking. He asked them to brainstorm new things they might want for their school.
And so they started dreaming big.
"How about a fire extinguisher?" One student suggested.
The teacher wrote fire extinguisher on the chalkboard. "What else?"
Okay, so maybe they started dreaming small, but the students kept going, and the ideas got bigger and bigger until an entire list of possibilities filled the board.
Possibilities like a school nurse, a bus, a dining hall, a chapel, a basketball court, a library, a canteen, a rugby field, and even a swimming pool.
It's amazing to me what we can dream up when we're invited to do so. Too often we mask our ideas and dreams for fear, if spoken, they will be shot down.
An acquaintance friend of mine named Don is always inspiring people to live out greater stories with their lives. To prompt people in the creative thinking process, Don challenges them to ask "What if" questions. This invitation to think outside the box helps people formulate direction and encourages the pursuit of dreams.
I recently learned that Don and his entourage are reworking his website. (Okay, confession, I started blog stalking Don on a near weekly basis after he and I met up in New York City this past spring.) His current blog claims his new blog will have a few additional contributors. When I initially read the announcement, a few "What if" questions came to mind.
"What if" Don shared with me the vision for this new website, and "what if" I was able to write and submit a half dozen potential blog posts for Don's team to review, and "what if" they liked what I wrote and "what if" I was invited to contribute from time to time?
Granted this might be a swimming pool size dream, but for me, and for the students, there is no loss in the asking.
Cheers from 34th Street,
PS Hope you're doing well! :) Tell Lucy I said hello.