By the time I was sixteen, I made this shocking realization, which was that I was significantly happier than all the other teenagers that I knew. And I couldn’t figure out why…and then I decided that it was because of spoken word poetry.
And there is something very powerful about teaching a fourteen-year-old — whose instinct is ‘Nobody understands me, I’m totally alone in the world, nobody knows what I’m going through, this is all about me’ — to teach that fourteen-year-old: If you can figure out a way to articulate your feelings and your opinions and your thoughts on the world, and then find a way to be brave enough to get up on a stage and present those opinions to a room full of people, that room full of people is going to listen to you.
And not only are they going to listen to you, they’re going to applaud when you’re done.
And not only are they going to applaud, but someone in the audience is going to come find you afterward and say, ‘Hey. I really felt what you were saying up there.’
And that might not seem like a big deal to us in this room because we’re doing it right now, but when you’re fourteen years old, that is HUGE — that is mind-boggling and life-changing, and it really was for me.
“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for the energies of love, and then, for a second time in history, man will have discovered fire.”—Teilhard de Chardin (via human-voices)