Isolating, isn't it? We course along through this universe and then, unexpectedly, someone else points out a star shining brightly where we’re not necessarily watching. And we’re sometimes surprised that they shine in our own quadrant. I’ve been lucky enough to have had several such stars course through the curriculum in my time, students who’ve shone, even amongst their peers, but nevertheless were known just as commonly as anyone else of us. We anticipated that they’d get the good grades, that they’d be the first to try to answer the questions, that they’d be involved. And we expected that they’d do well. At least, most of the time. And sometimes we are surprised. “I never knew he played guitar; that she sang; that he writes; that she paints – wow!”
My personal list of such stars goes way back to early 80’s, and here’s a few names (among quite a few others) whose careers one may easily follow thanks to both major and minor film roles, acting roles, and individual or group CD’s: Esther Purves-smith, Graham Jones, Sean Anderson, Jason Long, Jason Majid, Brad Payne, Eric Bossick, Thom Currie, Donovan Deschner, Andrew Franks, Jeff and Ryan Gladstone, Alex Hughs, Graham Ko, and now, Sheena Paris:
Calgary YMCA Youth Award (from the Calgary Herald, November 2009)
"With a bubbly personality and a mass of shoulder-length curls, Sheena Parris is a force to be reckoned with. Her friends describe her as compassionate, caring, committed and selfless. The Centennial High School student is deeply involved in social justice and peace initiatives. Through her membership in Centennial's Social Justice Club, she organized "Christmas with a Conscience," a fair-trade bazaar offering socially just gift alternatives over the Christmas season and "Oath of Silence," an event that helped students contemplate the invisibility of the world's forgotten children and the tragedy of child soldiers in Uganda. She has been both a participant and presenter at the Global Youth Summit, an annual event that connects teens with an interest in international issues and increases their global awareness. Sheena is also the co-founder of Student Voice, a group that focuses on creating a unified and peaceful school environment through open communication."We created Student Voice as a platform to connect teachers, administrators, parents, and students. Student Voice is a unified way to communicate and a positive way for students to voice concerns and really be able to transport their ideas to the right people." Next year, Sheena plans to study sociology or social anthropology with a minor in health studies to prepare herself to do humanitarian work, something she is clearly very passionate about."
Well, star or no star, the rest of us have our light to shine too. It is the light of our potentiality, unfolding into the evolution of everything, giving energy and light that is our very own unique Individuality. We just may not have been recognized for being such. If a movie or a book were to be made of the stories of very many of us we too may have our names recognized by many more than right now may know of us. And at the end of it all, what would we really want of anyone else – that they too would become their own star! So we keep shining, polishing, glowing, and giving. And maybe someday, isolated and insecure, someone will look our way and our star-light will shine for them too! All it takes is for the spotlight to be on you!