March 22, 2002
Yesterday, Justin Thomas from Label Liberation spoke to a class of our students. In a word, he was fantastic – both in the content he presented, and in his dynamic delivery of that content.
Justin captured the students’ interest right at the start by telling them he failed grade one three times. That shocked them because here was this incredibly fluent individual at the front engaging them, so how could he possibly have failed grade one three times? Justin explained why. (He didn’t tell them he now holds a doctorate in psychology.)
By inviting – indeed adamantly urging – the students to ask questions about life, he got them to participate. They felt involved. The questions were written on the board and then Justin took them on one by one. Often he would simply ask the student who posed the question what he or she thought the answer could be. Justin realized that most of us have life’s answers within us, and just need some help getting them out. He wove his message around the answers.
Justin’s message to the students was straightforward: they are persons first. All their labels – Canadian, Chinese, Korean, student, scholar, athlete etc, are secondary. Which, of course, means that we are all part of same human family. Justin also talked about loving themselves, honouring their values, taking off their masks, and releasing themselves from the programming they had received as infants and young children.
Justin’s talent is rare. It is a combination of personal brilliance and enthusiasm, combined with passion about his message, and a profound caring about the wellbeing of his audience. He will always be welcome in my school to share this with other students.
It has been said that if there is ever a day of judgement the only question we will be asked is “Why didn’t you become you?” After hearing Justin’s message, my students have a better chance of becoming who they are.
I sincerely and heartily recommend Justin Thomas to any audience – anywhere.