Making A Difference

Making A Difference

In 11th grade, one of the best things that has ever happened to me occurred, I got Paul Wann as my high school english teacher at Governor Dummer Academy.

Wann’s friendship, example, magnificent brain, gigantic heart, and bigger than life smile would change the course of my life forever.

If you want to know what a class and a relationship was like with Mr Wann take a look at the exquisite character Robin Williams played as instructor in the Dead Poet’s Society and then imagine a human with even more heart, sensitivity and more passion for teaching, learning and building relationships.

It was his deep soulful conviction that a life worth living is one that at it’s center, is grounded and dedicated to building relationships and making a difference in the lives of those around you. His message penetrated my heart and helped set the trajectory of my life.

I received the email below from a dear 83 year old friend/client of mine who is currently being ordered to stay at home as we flatten the curve and move through Covid 19 (and we will). Prior to the pandemic, she had been coming in once a week, religiously, for the last 7 or 8 years and was one of the first people in the beautiful community of Mission Hills to become a member of Team Monumental.

I have bad days like everybody, I frequently blow it and let people down. Occasionally I have days where I wouldn’t mind more money or an easier life…who doesn’t right? But receiving Susan’s note, especially now during these trying times reminds of the many lessons and countless nurturing conversations I had over 35 years ago with my friend and teacher and how they were some of the most important moments of my life and personal development.

It is my hope that Paul’s message is somehow expanded by my best efforts and that perhaps my students will further expand and lift up the idea that hope lies in connecting and a life of service, regardless of your vocation, is a life worth living.

Love, strength and honor



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