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MASA Leader Winter 2013

Courageous Journey Feature Going the Distance Reflections on how sacrifice and lifelong learning can change life for the better By Carlos Lopez, Ed.D. Editor’s Note: The following essay answers a question we posed to MASA’s Courageous Journey graduates: As you reflect on opportunities you have experienced that have supported you as a lifelong learner, what highlights come to mind? L imagine life without learning some- their language, their job to come to a My mother had theme years to understand why anyonewould leave their family, their country,ife is a “lifelong learning expedition”for me. As a human being I cannot thing every day. What a sad world this foreign country where nothing was there courage to embrace and the opportunity to model the best of understand how she could just pack her welcome an unknownto greet them. It has taken me years to would be if we as educators did not take the teaching profession – active lifelong- family and move to another country future because she learning. not knowing what would happen. knew in her heart that I can remember as a child my mother I remember the day I turned 50, I wanted together as lifelong reading to me stories in a balcony in to confront my mother and ask her why Havana, Cuba. She would captivate my she did it? learners we have the imagination and engagement by using intentional techniques that required She whispered in my ear, “Because it great opportunity to make me to ask inquisitive questions such as was the right move for you and your great things happen on childhood, because my mother never opportunities, imagination, freedom, behalf of our children.sisters. I had told each of you stories of “I Wonder?” or “What If?” I loved my saw poverty as a reason or excuse not creativity and hope. I had to model for to advance in life. you and your sisters that fear and poverty was only a situational circumstance, not One day, she packed us up and we a permanent one. Life is a journey; you that the world is a better place because migrated to the United States. It took must take risks. You are the driver of of my unselfishness. You—contributing your life and only to the betterment of others and doing fear keeps us from the right thing – matter to society.” reaching excellence. I knew the fear, but Five things have supported me as a life- the opportunities long learner in my journey as a trans- ahead had a louder formational leader. I operate under these voice. Your future five guiding principles that have allowed and that of your me to influence others to become life- sisters was more long learners. important to me than my own comforts. 1. Asking inquisitive questions – As Where you feel that a lifelong learner, I must always ask I have sacrificed my inquisitive questions that challenge the life for you, I see it status quo. We have a responsibility to differently. I know engage others in rich conversations on 24 MASA LEADER • January 2013


MASA Leader Winter 2013
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