Sunday, December 12, 2010

A reason to believe

Remember when the phrase, "It takes a village" wasn't the punchline in a political joke?

I'm still a believer in the sincerity of both the woman who brought that phrase to the forefront and in the power of the phrase itself.

For all you nonbelievers, take a look at the Arsenal Tech Cheer Team and how Central Indiana is responding to what Coach Dustin Wyman is doing for the kids on that team.

In short, a beautiful young man who's suffering from brain cancer, has taken a group of kids who social experts would describe as "at-risk" due to their economic and geographic circumstances and turned them into champions. Whether they win at the cheerleading championships in Orlando next year is almost irrelevant. These kids have already won.

They've won because:

* They've seen that they each have options beyond their neighborhood
* They know they have to work hard to make those options happen
* They're starting to dream of what can come next.

We've all won because businesses like Angie's List and ESCO, and hundreds of people across the city are pitching in to help Coach Wyman watch over the seeds he's planted.

Of course there are no guarantees for a bumper crop of great new leaders. There never are. But there's a whole lot of hope growing over there on the near-East Side and it's being nurtured by a whole of people from a whole lot of different walks of life.

That, my friends, is a village. And today I'm pretty happy with the village I'm calling home.

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