I’d received an email inviting folks out to an event, Ideas: Powered by Passion. The very title is the theme of the discussion series New Dawn Enterprises is spearheading. The premise seemed to be to listen to a guest speaker, a guest musician, and get inspired. Inspired I was. I met the most animated, enthusiastic, charged man who “keeps it real”.
Jim Mustard, the keynote speaker of the evening, discussed the Roots of Empathy program, wherein an infant is brought into the classroom setting – with outstanding results. He talked about childhood development and brain function, he talked about getting the community together from both the bottom down and the grass roots up, he talked about not waiting around for government to do something but to get started.
In about a half-hour we learned of his experiences as a human being, a parent, as a foster parent, as someone who recognizes social development as the key ingredient for any development, and one who knows on several levels why we need to bring our perspective back to the infant.
It’s not about the economy, it’s not about the environment, not entirely for their own sake – put an infant in the mix and you start to recognize reality. Babies don’t lie.
Jim delivered his story with a comic turn, well-presented research, and an animated zest that could get the most apathetic of people excited. I can’t even begin to describe the discussion in detail for I feel I wouldn’t do it justice. You have to meet this man.
Other speakers that evening were Chester Borden and Ayvery Norman of the Whitney Pier Youth Club, Lisa MacDougall from HEAL (Healthy Eating Active Living) Cape Breton, and a musical performance from Colin Grant accompanied by Donnie Calabrese.
I left feeling inspired. I left with a sense of hope for the community. I also felt like I wanted to drop by Jim Mustard’s house and gather some ideas over tea. I left thinking the Roots of Empathy program is one of the best ideas I’d ever heard of.
Ideas: Powered by Passion brings folks together who are keen on community development, and encourages new thinking. Their next series is December 2nd. To find out more information write to email@example.com.