The Freedom of Potential

“Potential”... I ponder this notion at my school desk and beg the question, “what is potential?” Let’s start here, at my school desk.

Potential could be the freedom to do your best. The things we take for granted like going to school or having the ability to read a book are what some kids around the globe are praying for. Malala Yousafzai, the youngest Nobel Prize winner, hails from Pakistan and has made it her life’s work to educate girls and in turn, discover their potential.

So what does potential mean to me? Potential means the ability to run on a trail in an Old Growth forest. Potential means the opportunity to ride the Polar Peak chair lift, yelling, and hearing my echo bounce back to me. Although both of these provide an increasing sense of potential, to me the real sense of potential is deep within yourself. Take a moment and think about who you are in your community. I am a biker, skier, student, friend, daughter, sister, performer, writer. Now imagine if you had to hide all those traits; exactly who you are and your belief system? We all have different beliefs, some may range in size or importance like religion,whether you are for or against logging, or a political matter that is of importance to you.

But all of these beliefs tie back to our potential. Take a moment and imagine a world with only war, no beliefs, no religion, no democratic rights. In Fernie everyone is allowed to be themselves.You can bike down the street and have a conversation with someone who’s belief system is completely different than your own. To me, this is what makes Fernie so incredibly unique. Sure, we may have our differences but we know how to connect with differences aside. 

Here in Fernie we don’t box ourselves into groups because of our differences, we blend ourselves together in our similarities. For example, maybe you and your neighbour have different religions but you find similarities because you both have kids at the same school. I believe that other towns, cities, maybe even countries, could learn from our small mountain home. We not only provide sport, love, and a view outside your window, we provide the potential to be exactly who you are!