I have spent an awful lot of my time in the past few years, writing, hoping, praying and wanting to believe that a vision for mentoring and supplemental education will make a difference in the lives of some young people who are theoretically “at risk.”
I have also dedicated an awful lot of time to what after this will be my 67th post, since starting this Blog in this format. While all of my efforts I think have made me a better person, I have spent the last two weeks not posting and asking myself if anybody really listens to what we are trying to say here and at The Pyramid Institute, where we want to mentor, change lives, and challenge people to think about important issues.
I must admit that there was a part of me that wanted to give up on my dream of mentoring, supplemental education, and provocation of thought through these vehicles, “The Family Meeting” and The Pyramid Institute, Incorporated.
In the midst of my disappointment and pessimism, I ran across an essay written by James Forman Jr. for The Covenant In Action. Forman is a graduate of Brown University and Yale Law School. He is an Associate Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches and writes in the areas of criminal procedure and education law. Forman was also a Clerk in the United States Supreme Court for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.
In 1997, Forman, along with a colleague, started the Maya Angelou Public Charter School in Washington D.C. Please read about this wonderful charter school that is recognized as one of the most successful programs of its kind in the country.
“When you are fed up, you either shut down or act. The options are that straightforward. Doing nothing renders you inert and is detrimental to freedom and democracy. As a lawyer, an educator, and, most importantly an activist, I have rejected the path of inertness in favor of intentional action to help society collectively intervene in the lives of children.” From James Forman’s essay “Succeeding Against All Odds” written for The Covenant In Action. Copyright 206 by The Smiley Group, Inc.
Sometimes God speaks to you with and through the voices of others. Forman’s words have proven to be the inspiration that I needed to continue my efforts to try to make a difference in my own way through The Family Meeting and The Pyramid Institute.
I got fed up and I shut down over the last couple of weeks. Like Forman, I am also a lawyer, an educator, and an activist. Thanks to reading his essay, I believe that I am back and rejecting the path of inertia. I have decided instead that I “will take intentional action to help.”
My only hope is that someone is listening.
If you are, I would love to hear from you, need your encouragement, and welcome your support of The Family Meeting and The Pyramid Institute!
Read, learn, and share…..Have a Family Meeting!
C. Randolph Keller