An example of this comes from a particular strip in early 1970, when Lucy is once again nagging her little brother Linus about his trusty blanket. The exchange goes like this:
Lucy: “Someday You’re going to have to give up that blanket! Someday you’re going to have to stand on your own two feet..Someday you are going to have to grow up and face life without any help from anyone..”
How tragic! The perception from Lucy that adulthood means going through life without help, and the fact that she is trying to pull Linus into this pessimistic mindset. What comes next is my encouragement to Linus, my rebuke to Lucy, and message to any and all who are feeling that this is true, or have experienced times of fear that it might be..
The Leadership Academy didn’t teach me that there are good people in the world. The Leadership Academy didn’t teach me that there are people doing good things in the world. The Leadership Academy taught me how to open my eyes. How to see and find a whole community of people who wake up everyday and spend the lion’s share of their hours pouring out their blood, sweat, tears, finances, and soul into making our communities in Madison County a great place to live and work. It reaffirmed and never lets me forget that I do not have to grow up and face life without help from anyone. Through the Leadership Academy I learned how to ask for help, where to go for help, and how to help others.
Since graduating from the Leadership Academy just a little while ago in 2016, I have changed jobs, gotten married, and have invested deeply in the communities I reside in. I try to give of myself freely, hoping that whatever small part I can play, that it will join with others into something far greater. I now think of learning styles on a daily basis. I think about the voices around the tables I sit at, the ones that aren’t there and how to bring them to it. LAMC honed my skills of collaboration and stoked the flame that burns when I am tempted to sit idly by, and spurs me into action. Being a part of LAMC taught me to lead when necessary and serve always.
LAMC isn’t a class on leadership. The academy program is a gauntlet of experiential learning, about leadership and yourself. But what LAMC IS...that is something more. It is a community of encouragement, accountability, creativity, inspiration, and commitment. LAMC is making our community better, together. So to Lucy: look around! To Linus: take heart! And to you feeling alone or discouraged in your efforts to make a difference: YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Hundreds of graduates, one Leadership Academy. Many communities, one Madison County. Kevin Sheward, LAMC ‘16
Grow. Serve. Lead.