“Focusing your life solely on making a buck shows a certain poverty of ambition. It asks too little of yourself….It’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential.”
Money isn’t everything. I’m sure you have heard this phrase before. I know I did as I heard this from both of my Grandmothers growing up. When you are first starting out on our own you don’t necessarily believe this as we seem like we need money just to survive between putting food on the table and keeping a roof over our head. As we get more established and have more of a solid footing on things and a handle on life overall hopefully we begin to focus our attention on something greater other than just making money. President Barack Obama reminds us of this in today’s quote that our piggy bank of ambition is destined to remain empty if our only focus remains on just making money. He goes on to encourage us to make sure we connect our purpose to something bigger than ourselves in order for us to realize our full potential.
When I read the specific portion of Barack Obama’s quote of hitching your wagon to something larger yourself my mind immediately went to how we all can best help others. Our society over the past year in particular has been through a lot from facing a pandemic to racial inequity just to name a few. For me I decided to hitch my wagon to the need for more social awareness around our mental health as it pertains to Social Emotional Learning. I think our students will need these skills across the nation as they more than certainly will be lacking due to distance learning: learning on the computer virtually for school as opposed to learning in person. Some states are completely doing their schooling online while others are doing more of a blended type of learning where some attend online while others attend the brick and mortar setting. In my opinion the online component can never take the place of that true, in person human interaction. I think schools need to be thinking of the types of SEL lessons they intend on incorporate into their curriculum if and when online students transition back onto campus. Better yet these should be utilized now for however schools are teaching their children. There will be gaps socially and emotionally for many due to the multiple learning modalities going on. We as educators need to be proactive rather than reactive to this and ensure that we provide the students with wrap around support as they transition back. This should be a huge focus of every school in this nation moving forward.
Our wagon does not need to be hitched to one cause but can be hitched to multiple. I often find multiple causes encompass multiple connections with one another. Our purpose and our meaning for being here and now is bigger than what we can possibly imagine. Let us take the time to put our ambitions to causes that will help others make this world a better place.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?