by Dr. Bradley Wheeler
Tragedy has struck again in Florida. Unlike many of the comments and responses that follow these tragedies, this message will not be a discussion of whether we need more guns or fewer guns; this will be about me as an individual, and us in our day-to-day lives.
I use the phrase that has been attributed to Gandhi among some other leaders. I use it quite often (but my colleague Matt Ashley uses it more, so I will credit him with the momentum it has here on our academy's campus,) “Be the change you want to see in the world.” When events like this occur, I realize (again) that I want the world to be kinder, gentler, more understanding of others and their needs and hurts, and, overall, more like Jesus. If I want the world to be more like Jesus, then I will, personally, commit to being more like Jesus. Every time tragedy strikes, which it seems to do with heartbreaking frequency, I reaffirm this commitment to lead with heart and add value to the world.
As such, today, I will try to be more kind, more gentle (not something I excel at,) more loving, and, in my role and with my opportunities, more helpful, and more encouraging.
This attitude will not stop the next tragedy nor will it undo the harm already done. However, I also know that light is stronger than darkness, hope is stronger than fear, loves trumps hate, and forgiveness is more powerful than vengeance. That being said ...
I promise to be the change I want to see. And I challenge you to do the same.
"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."