top of page

I went back to school

December 3, 2023

I went back to school. Yes, at 64 I needed to get back into the (virtual) classroom and get my MA in Strategic and Organizational Leadership. Why? Because there are many skills I lack to run a non-profit, many things I never considered before, and many more opportunities for me to teach and equip others. When I started LifeLine 18 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew a strength based approach to helping people out of poverty was needed, a way to move from a hand-out to a hand-up. We wanted to build people's capacity and let them set the agenda for their change.

Over the years I had amazing people coach and teach me and help me learn more about running a business. I love to learn and I have taken many courses and have had rich opportunities for growth. Two years ago I was part of a Sustainability Cohort through First5 that was eye opening. Now, here I am back in school.

I have to admit, I am not a good student yet, I get distracted, I don't know how to speed read, I don't know all the business language, I don't understand APA (and really, who needs to know that?). Getting back into the groove of learning is taking me out of many other things. I missed the Christmas parade, the community gatherings, the meetings, because I am studying. I am missing meals with friends because I am studying. Every decision I make right now is based on my school schedule. I will be done in May of 2025 and until then I will have to step back from some things, and that is ok. Small sacrifices today for long term gain.

But all this made me think about how I see people. How many times do we judge a person because they have different priorities than we do? How many times do we put people into boxes because we don't understand their choices? How many times have we been frustrated with folks because they don't do what we want? Let's be honest, they probably don't understand our choices either and are just as baffled by us.

"Walk a mile in my shoes... see what I see, hear what I hear, feel what I feel.. Then maybe you'll understand why I do what I do.... til then, don't judge me."

As we enter the Christmas season, maybe we can see each other with new eyes, not judge and condemn, but walk with each other and learn to see a new way.

bottom of page