I. Want. You.

Two out of the four high school seniors who will address their fellow graduates at the community baccalaureate service next month are my students, and you better believe I’m proud of them. I’m also glad I asked them to audition. Well, “ask” isn’t the right word, and that makes all the difference.

Two speakers auditioned on the first of two appointed days, and all of mine were MIA. So as I left the high school, I texted three of them, “I want you to audition to speak at Baccalaureate.”

Not “Would you like to?”

Not “I think you should.”

Not “Please consider.”

I. Want. You.

I suppose it’s possible that the two who responded¬†care so much about my approval that they’d sooner stare down hundreds of their peers with nothing to say than disappoint me, but that’s not where I’m putting my money. I’m betting the earnest desire of an adult who cares about them and wants to see them flourish was the thing.

Being wanted is powerful. I need to do more of this: let people know how highly I think of them and that I want them to share their gifts. That’s transformative.

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