What are the skills and attributes to becoming change maker? Change makers, according to Ellen Winner, demonstrate some very specific attributes. In her work, Gifted Children: Myths and Realities, Ellen identifies five ingredients we can all use to make our lives more meaningful.
Is becoming a change maker learnable?
A change maker:
- has a strong belief in self
- recognizes that independence is more important than conformity
- sees no difference between work and play
- is an academic risk taker
- deals successfully with adversity
We each hold the potential within us to be change makers. The choice is ours.
Change Maker Parable
To illustrate and emphasize this choice, I would like to share a favorite tale. It goes like this.
“Once upon a time, long ago and far away, there lived a wise man. The wise man was very kind and loving and was consequently much beloved by the people of this ancient land.”
“In this same land, there was a jealous nobleman – a prince who hated this wise man. He thought that the wise man was taking the love of the people away from him.”
“One day the prince said to himself, ‘I have a plan whereby I can discredit the wise man – a way in which I can make him appear to be a fool. I believe I can trick him. I know each day the wise man goes to the marketplace where he speaks to the people and gives them advice. Tomorrow when the people gather, I will go to the square disguised as a peasant. In my hand I shall hold a white bird. When the crowd has gathered, I shall raise my voice above the crowd, and I will challenge him with one question.‘”
“I will say,”Wise man, I have a simple question for you. This bird which I hold in my hand, is it alive or dead?” Now, while this appears a simple question, it is not. For if he says it is dead, I will open my hand and let the bird fly away…if he says it is alive, I will crush the bird in my hand and let it fall dead to the ground. Either way, he will be mistaken…either way it will appear he cannot tell the difference between a living bird and a dead bird…either way he will be discredited in the eyes of the people.’”
“The next day arrived and true to his word, the prince disguised himself as a peasant and, taking a white bird, he went to the marketplace. There he waited until the crowd had gathered and the wise man had appeared. He made his way to the front of the crowd and raised his voice. ‘Wise man,’ the prince shouted, ‘I would ask a simple question. This bird I hold in my hand, is it alive or is it dead?’”
“The crowd became very quiet and all eyes turned toward the wise man. The wise man paused, looked at the prince and said, ‘That which you hold in your hand…it is what you make of it.’”
Soar and Flourish or Fail
A wise answer from a wise man. Whether the bird which the prince held was alive or dead depended upon the prince and what he did with what he had.
It is my pleasure to be associated with Six Seconds – which teaches that ideas, imagination, talents, abilities, and gifts can either soar and flourish or fall to the ground dead and unused.
In the words of the wise man, your future “is what we make of it.”
Becoming a change maker is possible. I challenge you – that your futures – your success, your accomplishments, your achievements – your triumphs – are “what you make of them.” Will you choose to be a Change Maker?
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