"A good plan implemented today is better than a perfect plan implemented tomorrow."
— Gen. George Patton (1885-1945)

Upon the start of this school year and the inception of this blog, my mind swarmed with discussion topics.  My biggest question was “What can SOEA do, as an organization, to affect a change in Oklahoma’s school system?”  Immediately, possibilities of fundraising, philanthropic donations, community outreaches, underground movements, and other inspirational (and sometimes radical) notions buzzed about.  However, in a moment of clarity, my brain stopped.  I realized that all these wonderful ideas had one thing in common—they were all ideas

With Oklahoma lagging behind in education funding, teacher salaries, and student achievement gains[3], we all want to see change and reform and we all want to be a part of it.  However, a thousand heart-felt desires could never amount to acting on just one.  Instead of living in a fantasy where you and I watch in awe and praise as the world of our dreams and desires is built before us, we each have to rise up and go to the next level—build your world. And there’s a way we can do that.            

As a kid, I absolutely loved the game SimCity 3000.  I had the power to build huge megacities with whatever landmarks and specifications I desired and then destroy them mercilessly in a bombardment of natural disasters. However, before this onslaught, it took time to build and grow these cities.  I had to plan out where residential and commercial zones would be, the most efficient road infrastructure, power lines, water towers, and the list could go on.  The point being, my city, no matter how small or large, took time and dedication to build. 

A goal, whether personal or in an organization, is not unlike this.  How do you eat an elephant? - one bite at a time.  Break up your big goal in to smaller, doable goals and, as you cross each one off your list, you will begin to see your lifelong dream come to pass. Do you dream of building your own school one day?  Then start by investigating what it takes to build a school, to construct a curriculum, to rally up public support, finances, etc.  Do you dream about running for public office? Start by volunteering or getting a job in that government area.  Learn    everything you can about public relations, leadership skills, your community’s specific needs, and then learn even more!  Anything, no matter how big, can be broken up in to a systematic   series of small goals—the deciding factor is your own, personal steadfastness.

As an organization, SOEA also wants to make an impact in Oklahoma education and revive learning in its classrooms.  This lofty goal may not be fully accomplished in the 2010-2011 school year, but I guarantee you this—it will be started.  Just like any big goal though, it is broken up in to smaller, doable pieces—those pieces are the individual chapters and members.  You yourself are one of those pieces and your part is far from negligible. If you have an idea of a way SOEA can make a difference in your campus or your community, then I say “Go for it!”   The cost of making a mistake is far less than the price of inaction.  So I challenge you, find a way you can make a difference.  You don’t have to act on it yet, but just find a way and comment about it!  The hardest step of any journey is the first. 

Take that step. Build your world.  And as you do, I have no doubt that your deepest desires will come to fruition right before your eyes.

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