Back to School…

Today I got invited to speak in front of the kids at the place where I attended my first two years of grade school: the Simon Bolivar Institute. It all came about because it turns out my youngest boy’s teacher at another school is the daughter of my own 1st grade teacher. It’s a small world (after all!)

Stand me in front of 400 movie theater managers and put on me an X-Men First Class Professor Xavier’s light-up helmet (yep, true anecdote, worthy of another blog by itself), and I’ve got no problem. But talking in front of children… that’s a whole different ball game. I remember a few months back when I had to attend my own kid’s school to tell a Halloween story and sing songs to his class. Now THAT’s a tough audience to keep entertained for 45 minutes.

Whoever knows me, knows I’m not comfortable writing down speeches. I don’t usually put down on paper what I’m going to say, I just subconsciously make notes in my head and then let inspiration take over as I go along. Makes it easier to improvise. Well, this was no exception. However I spent a sleepless night trying to figure out how to say everything I wanted to say in three minutes or less (kids have a very low attention span).

So I tried to picture myself over 34 years ago and take it from there. I remembered Star Wars came out back then and that made the rest easier: the connection between generations, the imagination, the dreams we had, how technology has evolved… and so the center message of my speech came about:

“Be true to yourself, try to do whatever you are passionate about, and always keep on dreaming, because today’s dreams will very probably become tomorrow’s reality.”

I firmly believe so, because I’m living pretty much in the world I dreamt up back then (with some major ecological, political and social glitches I could not have foreseen, of course, and I’m still waiting to drive my own flying car, traveling by teleportation and fighting it out with a light saber, but hey, aside from that, almost everything else came true).

I know of people who always think about the impossibility of new ideas. I like to think nothing is impossible (improbable, maybe, but never impossible) and that’s the message I’d like to leave behind, especially to my own children.

I’m always thankful for these opportunities to stop a moment, look back, see how much we’ve accomplished, take a breath and continue on the road to whatever we’re dreaming about today.

Making those dreams come true makes the trip worth taking, don’t you think?


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