Below is the blessing and final admonition to the passengers on the Mayflower as they embarked for a new life in the New World. It is a powerful analogy for the leaders of the Ohio Public Advocacy Network whose goal is to provide their citizens with a stronger voice in shaping statewide education policy.
“You are embarking on a journey from which you will not return. It will provide you with a freedom, the likes of which you have never seen before. You will experience new and exciting adventures, unavailable in the world you are leaving. But, be warned. This new freedom will demand more of you — all of you — than you have ever experienced. By leaving a predictable life on these shores, the necessity for survival will require that you accept the responsibility for governance and life in general on those new shores. To this point in your lives, you have not been asked to assume any responsibility at all for the lives of others. The King has done that for you. Tomorrow you will. How you assume that responsibility will determine your future. If you expect that life will be the same, except that there will be no King to tell you how to live your lives, then you will surely perish. But, if you recognize that survival depends on a compact between all people where collaboration, cooperation, and sweat from all is understood to be essential, then you will not only survive — you will flourish. So, as you approach those new shores, I pray that you will look upon them with hopeful eyes, wide open, knowing what will be asked of you and with the will to do it.”