Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Behind the Curtain

Follow the yellow brick road, and you shall reach the Emerald City. Beware, however, for what you find behind the curtain may not be what you expect. 

Located in the City of Trees (the Emerald City) in a small office from behind two large monitors (behind the curtain) and a set of controls (a keyboard and the Internet), this blogger (the wizard) administers various Wildland Fire Leadership Development Program social media platforms.

Through my wizardry, I am able to do great and powerful things. If it weren't for Facebook intervention, I just might control everything you see. So, who am I, you ask? Well, I am just like many of you. I am no one special. I don't have a fancy title. I don't have a big office. I don't have special powers. I don't have the answers. Truth be known, I am a "humbug"—a fraud. I am a nice person but a terrible wizard, and I don't act alone. There are communities of people who help me create and maintain the splendor you see.

Munchkins from near and far bring skills, creativity, and magic to create a leadership social media network that reaches students of fire and leadership in kingdoms around the world. These wonderful helpers write blogs, create mini posters, share content, and promote our program. Together we create one of the biggest and best lands of leadership around.

However, no matter how much glory and praise is given to this wizard and Munchkins, the truth is the wizard cannot give to the Tin Men, Cowardly Lions, Scarecrows, and Dorothys what they already have. Inherently, each of you already possesses what you need to succeed. All the wizard does is flip the controls using the resources of others to create a path of discovery.

It is along the path of discovery that we connect with one another to share our stories, and our knowledge and experiences. We vow to never repeat the mistakes of others and to remember those that have gone down the path before us. We know the path is long and may not be paved with gold, but with persistence we hope to obtain whatever it is we seek to find. The truth is ours to find.

There is no Emerald City. There is no wizard with great powers who will do for us what we can do ourselves. There is no path that we don't build ourselves. And lastly, there is no place like home where those we love await our return each day.

This is Part 2 of a two-part series. 

About the Author:
Pam McDonald is a writer/editor for BLM Wildland Fire Training and Workforce Development and member of the NWCG Leadership Subcommittee. The expressions are those of the author.

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