Last week I went to speak at a Fundraiser specifically aimed at investing in youth culture. While it was a great honour to be invited to speak, the most fulfilling part of the night came in a side conversation I had with a gentlemen who was just curious about what I did. We spoke in all for about twenty minutes, but the most memorable part of the dialogue was the question he posed: "now what?"
Only two words, but oh so powerful. To add some perspective, the conversation was geared around how we as leaders could use our voice to uplift not only youth, but different members of our community. We spoke about running different camps, doing appearances and speeches, and a bunch of different outreach projects that could possibly have a positive impact. I was kind of feeling myself, the way I do when I make a few good points that garners some head nods and rising eyebrows. But near the end of the conversation he asked me "and now what?" AND NOW WHAT?
"What are you going to do? - What is your one appearance for two hours, or your yearly summer camp for two weeks, or your one hour book reading - how is that truly going to make a difference in the day-to-day life of the people you hope to touch?"
I paused for a while and thought about some clever response about "making a lasting impression" and "if I could touch just one person" blah blah blah. But I didn't say anything, couldn't really say anything. It was too real of a moment and I felt it required contemplation rather than input.
The question is simple...And now what? And now what, Kern? What am I going to do? How will I truly make an indent on the lives of everyone that hears my voice or reads my words. How will I make my voice powerful enough so my words stay with them every single day of their lives?
The question has stuck with me, and those of you reading to get an answer will be sadly disappointed. I am still contemplating. I haven't completely figured it out yet but I know once I do my mark will be deep.
Lessons are learned everywhere, at any time. The mind just has to be open to receive them.