Oh, to Run and Change the World

Posted on January 18, 2013. Filed under: Running | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

same Nasa url as the last one please

What would you say to someone who told you that running could change the world?  Would you think they were odd, crazy, dreaming?  Not my world, you might think.  Not the real world, where businesses and people work hard to make a living, get ahead.  Running, you might say, is a hobby for most, a pastime, an amateur sport.  It might be fun, might get or keep you healthy, but surely it couldn’t change the world.

I had the privilege this week of attending the 10th annual Girls on the Run International Summit, a conference, for lack of a better word, though it was like no conference I’ve attended.  It may have had all the trappings of your average conference—speakers, general and breakout sessions, meals and parties—but this conference was distinctly different.  What made it so was not the agenda, it’s the organization—the men and women who are Girls on the Run.

Every organization composes a Vision, a Mission, a set of Core Values it displays for all its stakeholders to see.  Most include words like customer-oriented, integrity, honesty, excellence.

What about words like positivity, gratitude, empowerment, responsibility.  Empathy, joy, love.  And more telling than words, what about actions?  Could a business be built on a foundation that includes empathy, joy, and love?

When Girls on the Run started, it was led by one woman who brought together one team of thirteen young girls to instill in them confidence, joy, self-respect, to show them their own strength and where it could lead them.  Sixteen years later, Girls on the Run is led by 55,000+ women and men across the nation in 208 councils, revealing to tens of thousands of girls their full potential.

Girls in the program learn to be authentic, strong, honest.  To respect themselves and others, to make healthy life choices, to be empathetic.   These girls will grow up to be leaders in business, education, government.  They are learning to lead with love.

The tool that does this?  Running.

Sound corny?  Far from it.  It’s quite real, and part of a movement to bring empathy, responsibility to bear on our actions, in business, education, government.

Who said that running couldn’t change the world?  It already has.

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2 Responses to “Oh, to Run and Change the World”

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Amazing, isn’t it?

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