Hello from guest blogger, Lisa Robinson! I have a wonderful mindfulness story to share with you in this post. It’s about Bill Strickland, an incredible man with an amazing vision. Some years ago, I had the opportunity to see Bill make a presentation as part of a “Fast Company” magazine event, and the power of his story, passion for making a difference, and personal presence are forever in my thoughts.
In high school, Bill found himself drifting without purpose. One day, he went by the classroom of Frank Ross, an art teacher who was making clay pots. Bill wandered in and asked Ross to show him how to do that, and the experience was the start of changing his life. Ultimately, with mentoring from Ross, Bill went to college. He found an audacious way to give back to his community, transforming the lives of young students and adults. Bill saw the impact the arts had on his life, and he had to find a way to share it with others.
Bill is a community leader, author, and the President and CEO of the non-profit Manchester Bidwell Corporation based in Pittsburgh. The company’s subsidiaries, the Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild and Bidwell Training Center, work with disadvantaged and at-risk youth through involvement with the arts and provides job training for adults, respectively. Strickland is a winner of a MacArthur “Genuis” Award and the 2011 Goi Peace Award.
The best way to really understand what Bill has accomplished is to see him explain it in this TEDxMidwest Youth video: Bill Strickland Video
There are many other resources related to what Bill’s vision and passion have helped accomplish for his community and a number of others:
Bill’s web site: http://www.bill-strickland.org/
Manchester Bidwell Corporation: http://manchesterbidwell.org/about/
I’m so inspired by this story of mindfulness paired with vision that it gives me goosebumps. Where in your community might there be others striving to end “spiritual cancer?” View the video linked above to hear Bill explain this. How can we support them, and also encourage the commitment we can each uniquely provide in our own work?
Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below. I look forward to providing more ideas and resources on mindfulness in my next post.