Yesterday was an interesting day for me—most days are, actually. But the planets seemed to be especially aligned, or maybe yesterday was a “rip, a hole in the time/space continuum” that “take us thru the event horizon.” *
1. I got an email invitation to connect with another Tim Tyson on a social network site. What was particularly interesting is that I’ve been receiving emails for over a year, maybe two, intended for this guy. Apparently our email addresses at a particular email service provider are very similar, and people would type his incorrectly. Since we both have the same name, it’s understandable.
At first I thought these were all some sort of junk mail. But they followed a pattern. Apparently he is a well respected videographer who travels the world filming special projects. Nice. (Maybe he’s really me in another life?–hence my quotation above)
I’m not really sure how he figured out who I am or why he asked me to join his social network, but when I checked out his social network site (which talked about what he does for a living) along with his email address (which is almost identical to mine), I realized the connection. (You realize, of course, that this could only happen in a digital world with palm-sized, time-warping transporter devices, right?)
Even more amazingly, the “other” Tim Tyson recently finished projects with the British Council about Global Schools Partnerships. Amazingly, the last year I was a school principal, the Director of Bilateral Programmes from the British Council came to visit my school. She was interested in setting up partnerships between the UK and my school. And now the other Tim Tyson is shooting video about these projects?! What are the odds, I ask—even demand?!
The multi-year-long bizarre mystery of the Tim Tyson emails has been solved! But I save the best for last…
2. Imagine getting an unexpected email from a former student who writes this sentence: “I have come to realize that doing what is comfortable or popular tends to be far less rewarding than doing what is right.” Now, this young man is only 18! He apparently has become somewhat of an activist for issues related to respect and social justice “for historically marginalized groups.” His efforts have earned him national recognition, honors, and some significant opportunities.
My first encounter with younger students who felt a moral imperative to act on issues of social justice came during the Ronald Reagan years. (To cut big government spending, Reagan eliminated funding for homeless shelters thereby forcing the homeless to literally live on the streets.) Shortly thereafter, one of my 8th grade students first saw homeless people in downtown Atlanta. He was from an affluent home and had no idea such a thing could exist in our country. He was outraged, and, as an 8th grader, on his own, took it upon himself to launch a letter-writing campaign to the Georgia governor to have the issue addressed.
I’ve known many such young people since then—all with an inner calling directing their efforts to make the world a better place. I celebrate all of these young people who, at a very early age, feel compelled to act for positive change.
Their lives color the world with hope.
* Yes, I stole that line from a tweet by Miles Kahn, a producer for The Daily Show. That’s actually part of what he said about tonight’s show. I laughed out loud when I read his tweet.