May 13, 2013 — It’s 6:15 am. My alarm launches into music, signaling the start of a new day. My 9-year-old daughter, Morgan, is also awake, prepping for a full day: 3rd grade math, science, and reading, followed by after-school volleyball, tutoring, and some downtime with her 3-year-old brother.
It’s now 6:45 am. Driven by her desire to “take on more responsibility,” Morgan is in the kitchen eating breakfast and packing her blue backpack, which is adorned with key chains from all the places my husband and I have traveled for business. Homework…check! Snack…check! Glasses…check!
I join her near the kitchen in my office space. As we exchange “Good mornings,” I ask, “Did you pack your backpack?” She sighs: “Yes, Mom.”
Before I know it, it’s 7:00 am. As a virtual worker, I often use the fifteen minutes before taking the kids to school to check my email, make my to do list, or write.
But this morning is not a typical morning. I open my email and find a message from a colleague encouraging us to spread the word about Catalyst’s new video, “Turn CANNOT into CAN!” Inspired, I immediately call, “Morgan, come watch this!” I get up from my office chair so she can have a seat. We press “play” and she focuses intently on my computer screen.
Once the clip concludes, I ask, “What did that video mean to you?” She rapidly responds, “C for Catalyst…C for Change.” Her response resonates, but it’s not what I expected. “Absolutely!” I say.
But I keep talking—this is a big parenting moment, right??! “Well…the video also shows how we can achieve anything. See how the video shows that we have the ability to “Turn CANNOT into CAN?” I continue, “People all over the world (as demonstrated by the Spring Bud Project in China) are doing amazing things to make sure young girls and women have equal opportunities to succeed.” Morgan takes a long pause. She looks at me intently, then smiles: “Ahhh!” she says.
In that moment, Catalyst’s values—Connect, Engage, Inspire, Impact—flashed before me. Tears filled my eyes. Indeed, change happens in small increments—even on seemingly ordinary days. This was our day and our time: 7:15 am. We hit re-play and watched the video again…this time in full-screen mode.
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Learn how others are Catalysts for change at IAmA.Catalyst.org.
Sheryl Sandberg is a Catalyst. How about you?