Hi, everyone! My name is _____________________.
Because Wizard Academy appreciates your generous donation to help keep Chapel Dulcinea open, free and beautiful, I’m going to take you on a 4-minute walk to Wizard’s Tower, where we’ll enter the underground art gallery, then go straight up to the Star Deck where I’ll tell you a 2-minute story, then you’ll have 15 more minutes to take photos and enjoy the view from nearly 1,000 feet above downtown Austin. Follow me, please.
[Pausing at The Old Man and the Sea…]
This is Ernest Hemingway’s
“The Old Man and the Sea”
by Jane DeDecker.
If you remember that Nobel prize-winning novel, you’ll remember how the old man fought the giant fish – and then the sharks – for 3 days and 3 nights before sailing home.
[Pointing now at the statue above the art gallery as you walk toward it…]
The counterpoint to this symbol of the heroic, masculine struggle is Jane DeDecker’s symbol of feminine determination – “Into the Wind” – a living figurehead on the bow of a ship sailing above the art gallery. We’ll take a closer look in a moment.
[Stopping briefly at the bronze plaque with the footprints on it….]
This is the Laughlin Stone. If you place your feet on those footprints at night
[Pointing now at the sword at the top of the tower….]
you’ll see the North Star hovering just above the hilt of that sword. Since the North Star is positioned directly above the axis of the earth, it’s the only star that doesn’t move across the sky during the night…
The Star Deck – just behind it – is where we’re headed.
[Begin walking again toward the tower….]
The famous psychologist, Carl Jung, believed that life is a journey on water. Above the waterline is the conscious mind. Below the waterline is the unconscious, a shadowland of nonverbal symbols and music and mysteries.
[Point up at “Into the Wind”….]
You’ll notice as we enter the tower that we’re directly beneath the ship of “Into the Wind.” If the old man and his fish are on a beach – and that ship above us is sailing on the ocean, we are now 12 feet underwater, which is where we’ll find the art gallery, the wine cellar and the musical instruments of Wizard Academy, since each of these speaks to the unconscious mind.
[Enter the art gallery.]
Wizard Academy teaches advertising, marketing and communication to businesses across America and around the world. Our students include Nobel Prize-winning scientists, university professors and best-selling authors, as well as executives at companies like Procter & Gamble, Kellogg, and IBM. But mostly they are the owners of America’s 5.91 million companies that have fewer than 100 employees. Wizard Academy is where these people – people like you – come to learn big things fast, in an environment that feels like summer camp for grown-ups.
[Give the group instructions about staying together and NOT going up the stairs.]
[When everyone has arrived on the Star Deck, ring the bronze bell near the stairwell door, then point at the statue of the boy on the paper airplane as you begin walking toward the sword.]
If you look behind the base of that statue, you’ll see a little boy reading a book.
[Point now at the larger boy, above.]
And this is that same little boy, flying on those wings of paper. It’s called “Journeys of Imagination,” by Gary Lee Price. It’s about the wonderful journeys we take in our minds when we read good literature.
I’ll be finished in just 2 more minutes, then you can admire the view.
[Finish your talk as you stand next to the sword, facing north.]
Life is a journey on water.
The conscious mind is above the waterline.
The unconscious is beneath.
You only meet 4 people on the ocean of Life, but you meet them again and again.
The first person you meet is drifting, pushed this way and that by the winds and waves of circumstances. You know you’ve met a drifter when they say, “Whatever. It’s all good.”
The second person you meet is surfing. They seem to be having a pretty good time, but they never really get anywhere. They just paddle around in the ocean, looking for a wave to ride. The surfer is forever looking for “the next big thing.”
The third person you meet is drowning.
We’re not just talking about “going under” and needing a helping hand.
Most of us, if we’re healthy and normal, will occasionally need a helping hand from someone who loves us. We may need to be rescued financially, or chemically, or relationally. This is normal. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We’re talking about professional drowners. You’ve met them. They say, “It’s been the worst week of my life, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” So you help them. You get them back on their feet. Then when you see them a few weeks later, they say, “It’s been the worst week of my life, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
The fourth person you meet is navigating. They’re challenged by the winds and waves of circumstances, just like the drowner, the surfer and the drifter. But the navigator turns the rudder of the ship to counteract the direction of the waves. The navigator adjusts the sails to harness the wind and make it take him where he wants to go.
But the navigator does not navigate by watching the wind and waves.
The navigator keeps his eyes on a non-negotiable standard that isn’t connected to his circumstances. The navigator has a North Star, a guiding light that never moves.
Do you remember the wise men from the Christmas story?
These wise men – these wise-ards – followed a star because they believed it would lead them to something wonderful. It is from these wise men – these wise-ards – that Wizard Academy takes its name.
Thank you again for your generous donation.
I’ll ring the bell when it’s time for us to go.
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Written by Roy H. Williams for the ambassadors at Wizard Academy