When I read about Lebron returning to Cleveland on Twitter, I immediately dismissed it as “sports news” and kept browsing my timeline for something more worthwhile.
Of course, upon reading this piece by him in Sports Illustrated, I was taken aback by my own prejudice and ignorance of his thinking behind this monumental decision.
If you missed it, here is what he said:
But this is not about the roster or the organization. I feel my calling here goes above basketball. I have a responsibility to lead, in more ways than one, and I take that very seriously. My presence can make a difference in Miami, but I think it can mean more where I’m from. I want kids in Northeast Ohio, like the hundreds of Akron third-graders I sponsor through my foundation, to realize that there’s no better place to grow up. Maybe some of them will come home after college and start a family or open a business. That would make me smile. Our community, which has struggled so much, needs all the talent it can get.
In Northeast Ohio, nothing is given. Everything is earned. You work for what you have.
I’m ready to accept the challenge. I’m coming home.
What moved me about Lebron’s statement was his longview on his impact as a athlete but also as a citizen/change agent. It led me to wonder and ask myself, who is the next Lebron James in my classroom. Of all the students I’ve taught in my adopted home– city of Philadelphia, who will rise up and make it a better place for the next generation of children. How do we empower our students to become change agents and how do we help our students see the power they possess to make a difference?
Our work is akin to the work of architects but instead of standing before a building and admiring our work, our greatest hope as teachers is that we will help propel our students to take care of our communities. To encourage our students come back to their hometowns and stay.
My salute to Mr. James for his vision and for setting a great example for the kids in Northeast Ohio and elsewhere.