The Dot: “Just Make A Mark And See Where It Takes You”

Have you read The Dot by Peter Reynolds?

Do you know any learner’s that are stuck?  Are they convinced that they can’t?  Read this book.  Listen to the messages.  The first strong message is about getting started.  “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.”  I bet you’ll end up repeating Vashti’s sentiment of “Hmmph! I can make a better dot than that.”  The second message is about leadership, encouragement, and support of others.  “Show me.”  “Please…sign it.”

I serve and learn in several teams.  Often we leap to what can’t be done.  “This won’t work because…”  “We can’t do this because…”  Creativity and brainstorming come to a halt more often than not.

Two weeks ago, we challenged ourselves to engage in a discussion of what we can do.  We would not use any of the typical phrases that shut down thinking or distract us from what we can do.  No idea would be shot down.  All ideas were welcomed.  We lasted 21 minutes before the word “can’t” was launched.  And, in that 21 minutes, we made progress.  We came to a consensus about the what and how of building a lesson together.

Last week at the same team meeting, we started with The Dot.  Here I was reading to our team of seasoned professionals.  The story is so powerful; one of our team finished the story before I could turn to and read the last page.  The thought that we don’t know how to build a lesson or series of lessons seemed okay and less daunting because we could just make a mark.  We could see where it might take us.  This idea coupled with Theo Jensen‘s reflection that the walls between our disciplines exist only in our minds has challenged us to find common ground.

What is it that you want to do?…that you’ve been asked to do?  If you are stuck, what is causing you to be stuck?  What can you do?  What can we do?

Just make a mark…see where it takes you.  Frame it for others to see.  Encourage others to make their mark.

Reynolds, Peter. The Dot. Cambridge, MA: Candlewick, 2003. Print.

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