Gabby Giffords: She Will Return

by on March 7th, 2015
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Recalling the classic General MacArthur pronouncement “I shall return,” I was moved and inspired by a modern day “general,” Representative Gabby Giffords as she announced her retirement from Congress via a YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FaSjIiaI5s0

Leadership is and always has been defined by action, not position. While Congresswoman Giffords may forever be remembered as a victim of a tragic event in Tucson, she is much more likely to remembered as an inspirational leader. In fact, much of that leadership has yet to evolve, as she begins a new stage in her life and gains the emotional and physical energy needed to make a difference in what is likely to be an even more influential role than that of her elected office.

It is clear from her recent recovery and her remarkable spirit that she will be a force in the future and that all citizens of the world will benefit by her vision and commitment, not just those in her home state of Arizona.

In my field of education, the effective use of a “teachable moment’ can be huge part of the teaching-learning process. Teachers know the power of maximizing a special moment to move their students’ heads as well as their hearts. These moments may not occur every day, and some of them may be lost in our seemingly data obsessed school systems, but when Gabby Giffords announces “I will return and we will work together,” it’s a powerful moment for reflection and resolve.

Gabby Giffords will return and together we can make a difference.


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