You can set the world on fire

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You can set the world on fire

Michal Shae Wargo, Adjuct Faculty, CCAC North and West Hills

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If I had the chance to meet each of you at the same time I would share something I’ve shared with all of my students over the years. I would tell you that you are each unique and here for a specific purpose. You fill a hole that nobody else in the entire world can fill. The world needs you.

One of my favorite quotes is, “Be who you were created to be, and you will set the world on fire.” The quote is from Catherine of Siena.

I think if we could shed our insecurities, our worries about what others might think, and just be good at being who we are, things might be a lot less complicated. Maybe we would judge each other less and love each other more intentionally. Maybe there would be more kindness and compassion and less hatred. Maybe we would extend grace a bit more easily and not withhold forgiveness. Maybe we would listen more and talk less. Maybe we would help those in need rather than passing by with a blind eye.

When we begin to walk in confidence certain extraneous things begin to fade away, don’t they? I can know that I was born to be a reading teacher and also embrace the fact that I was not intended to be a math teacher. That gift is reserved for others.

What freedom when I remember I don’t need to be good at every single thing and I need only to excel at certain things!

We should always strive to do our best in whatever situation we find ourselves in, but the load is too heavy if we try to be the best at all things at all times. I guarantee you I would not be an excellent calculus teacher, no matter if I gave it my all!

I hope that as you begin a new semester at CCAC that you can begin (or continue) the journey to becoming excellent not just in your academic life, but also in your personal life.

Whether you’re coming to CCAC right out of high school, coming back after a year or two off, or returning after a long hiatus and possibly another career, I think the quote above applies to us all. Stop trying to be someone else because that’s exhausting, isn’t it? Just be your beautiful, quirky, unique self.

I wish nothing more than for you to remember that you bring something to the table that nobody else in the world can; and that’s the gift of you!