Round 3! this lesson is about that all important question: why? we need to tap into purpose to fuel our projects and our work. we must recognize our capacity to make people loved, worthwhile, and safe. 

LESSON 3: The Purpose (AKA the WHY?)


  • Students will recognize their capacity for impact in everyday actions.
  • Students will understand how to build influence on their campus.
  • Students will see the difference between power and influence and recognize the effectiveness of leading through consistent, intentional service.

Opening Activity: Care Cards

  1. Pass out notecards to each person as they walk in.
  2. Show Perspectacles. 
  3. Instruct people that they have 4 minutes to silently write down one thing that they are struggling with and one thing they are really proud about. Give them examples (I am struggling with my parents going through a divorce. I am proud of my speed gains in the pool - I’m one of the fastest on the team) 
  4. Make sure they don’t write their names down anywhere on the card.
  5. Have them pass the cards to you.
  6. Shuffle the cards and hand them back out at random. Have the students silently walk around and read the cards while they hold them to their chest or above their head.


  • What did you see in the video? What stood out to you?
  • How does this change the way you will look at people at your school?
  • Of course “Perspectacles” don’t exist – but how would you treat people if you were able to have a pair? Do you need a pair?
  • What did you see when you walked around the cards? What things do we have in common?
  • Maya Angelou said, “People will never remember what you do, people will never remember what you say, but people will always remember the way you make them FEEL.” Knowing that everyone has a story and knowing your own story - what do you hope people at your school are made to feel?

Discussion: What Is Love?

Say: Your job as leaders in your school or community is to use your influence *pinky wiggle* to create a space where people show up and get to FEEL: respect, acceptance, safety, equity, hope (or anything else they brainstormed in the reflection). In one word, LOVE. The people at your school crave and deserve to feel loved - and as leaders it is our job to practice getting better at LOVE.
Ask: What is Love? Fill in the blank: Love Is _______. 
Say: LOVE is confusing and weird. Most words have only 1 or 2 definitions - love has almost as many definitions as there are people because we define love based on our experience with it. Not only that, but in the english language we overuse the word. I love you Mom. I love bacon! I love this song. We use the word so often, we've sort of diluted its power and made its meaning confusing. How are we supposed to get better at something that confuses us? It's like going to the gym and trying to figure out a complicated piece of equipment you've never been on before - if you don't know how to use a thing properly, you are likely to 1) not get any stronger or 2) hurt yourself or 3) really hurt yourself. Fortunately, the Greeks used a variety of different words for LOVE, which help to clarify what LOVE in leadership is supposed to look like:

Write these on the board and explain:

  • Storge (storgē, Greek: στοργή): the natural feeling of affection. We feel organic fondness toward our family.
  • Philia (philía, Greek: φιλία): love through commonality. We feel close to our friends because we share things with them.
  • Eros (erōs, Greek: ἔρως): being "in love." The romantic love we feel towards the people we are attracted to physically or emotionally.
  • Agapè (agápē, Greek: ἀγάπη): unconditional, selfless love. Loving others regardless of circumstances. The capacity to choose to love someone even when we don't feel like it.

Say: We tend to surround ourselves and spend time with the people we like - the people who are, oftentimes, easy to LOVE. But as my friend Tyler says, "a commitment to growth is a commitment to pain." In other words, if we want to get better at anything in life, we usually have to do challenging, uncomfortable, sometimes painful things. We don't GROW in our capacity love others when we only show love to the people we already like - we grow in love when we CHOOSE to show kindness, compassion, respect, patience, honesty, forgiveness, etc. to the people who we don't know or to the people who challenge us. In fact, sometimes it is the people who are the hardest to love who most need it. Our job as leaders is to make EVERYONE at our school feel loved because everyone has a story - everyone is craving hope and connection - and we can do small things every day to help make them feel that way. “People will never remember what you do, people will never remember what you say, but people will always remember the way you make them FEEL.” Our PURPOSE as leaders is to help people feel LOVED in their life - and what an important job that is!

        “It’s hard to hurt people when you remind yourself that they have a story. Empathy is a reminder that we are all connected - that we all need a little more Love in our life.”