Is it wise
to protect the ones we love
from the hardships
that taught us all we know?
Hardship is the undisputed School of the Masters, but very few students seek admission.
Education begins with memorization. Having learned all the theories, steps and rules, we parry and thrust against the light in a kind of frantic swordplay with the shadows of possibilities. This is when we learn that steps and rules are only a weak and sad beginning. We still have a lot to learn.
Memorization was our first lesson.
Improvisation is the second.
Choices and Consequences are the lessons that never quit teaching.
Every industry, craft, trade and profession has its own traditional wisdom that will hide you safe, out of trouble, by keeping you inside the box.
If you’re going to start thinking “outside the box,” you’re going to have to ignore the unwritten rules of traditional wisdom. Do this and you’ll immediately be told that you’re “not doing it right.” And sadly, the new thing you’re attempting to do probably won’t work the way you had hoped.
You won’t have a victory but you will have an education.
So you’ll try something else that doesn’t work out.
Now you’re a screw-up.
Most people would crawl back inside the box and quit trying.
But not you.
You try again. Fail again.
Now you’re a loser, a nonconformist, a problem child, and possibly unemployed.
This, mi amigo, is what they call hardship.
Try again. Limited success.
Now you’re a tinkerer who won’t leave well-enough alone.
Try again. Limited improvement.
No one calls you anything now because no one is paying attention.
Try again. Major breakthrough.
Now you’re an innovator and everyone wants to swim in your pool.
George Washington was a loyal British subject who decided the king was wrong.
Thomas Jefferson envisioned a form of government that Winston Churchill – on the floor of the House of Commons* – would later call “the worst form of government ever created, except for all the others.”
Abraham Lincoln violated millennia of traditional wisdom when he won the war but refused the victor’s spoils, saying instead, “With malice toward none, with charity for all… let us bind up the nation’s wounds…” (2nd inaugural address.)
But perhaps Teddy Roosevelt said it best. Speaking of the choices and consequences we face daily as we improvise our way through life, he said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
Wizard Academy is a nonprofit educational organization, a school for the imaginative, the courageous and the ambitious.
Finally! After 12 years of false starts, mistakes and “almost rights,”
we have a way to explain this place. THANK YOU to Jeffrey Eisenberg and Jeff Sexton, who accepted this challenge 8 months ago and never turned loose of the tail of that dragon.
“Wizard Academy: a school for the imaginative, the courageous and the ambitious.” This tells the world who we are and who we are not.
“If you have no imagination, please stay at home. If you lack courage, this is not the place for you. If you have no dream that keeps you awake, go back to bed with our blessings. We have work to do.”
It took us 12 years to figure out how to explain who we are
and we’re the ones that are supposed to know what we’re doing.
You’re not a screw-up. You’re an innovator on the edge of a breakthrough. Trust us. We know. We’re very familiar with the edge.
And the view from here is magnificent.
Roy H. Williams
* Nov. 11, 1947