There is an old saying, "When the student is ready, the teacher appears." In twenty years as an educator, I have found the converse to be true also.
In 1992, while teaching an 8th Grade Social Studies class, I offered my students the following challenge: “You are the future-it is up to you to make the world a better place.”
An extraordinary young woman named Jessica challenged back, “What would better look like?”
“What do you mean?” I asked, unprepared for the question.
She responded, “This is how the world is. If you want me to make it better, what would that look like?”
For the last twenty years, Jessica’s question has become my North Star-the guiding light that has shaped my choices as I move through life. As I have come closer to answering the question in my own life, I have felt the need to open the discussion to a wider audience.
In response, my husband, Rob Graydon, filmmaker, and I created What BETTER Looks Like.
What BETTER Looks Like, through films, Public Service Announcements, Education Programs, and other creative projects opens a dialogue into the question “What would better look like?” We invite people, through us and with each other, to dialogue about the question, and seek positive answers.
When it came time for us to incorporate, I wanted to find Jessica to let her know how her question had affected me. After a quick Google search, I found her, giving us the opportunity to reconnect. Twenty years after she asked her unforgettable question, I had the honor of attending her wedding this fall.