day 28 – someone who changed your life
There have been a lot of benchmark people in my life who have changed me in some small way. Sometimes the change sticks. Other times it doesn’t. Almost none of those people can say they changed me for good. For always. You can.
I want you to know that when I stumbled across your “Aha” moment video, I got the chills. Admittedly, I think I played it two or three times in succession, just letting the conviction and passion sink in more and more with each progression of the recording. I might’ve been in the middle of homework and got distracted. I can’t remember. At that point, though, I was already a member of ItStartsWith.Us.
You should also know that I grew up with a pretty firm stance on community service. For me, it’d always been something I did so I could add it to my future scholarship and honor society applications. Just a list of mindless hours accrued for the sake of Doing the Right Thing. I never felt personally connected to the people I’d helped, the causes I’d supported. The hundreds of small moments I spent at soup kitchens, nursing homes and church functions. Maybe I hadn’t found my niche.
Your conviction and sense of empowerment changed that for me. You wrote, “Next year I will change the world,” and then you did. As if everything were as easy as writing it down on a piece of loose leaf paper.
When ItStartsWith.Us came into my life, I needed a purpose to feel like I wasn’t running in circles. And if you hadn’t written those seven words at your conference for work, if you hadn’t jumped in headfirst on the path to self-discovery, I might never have realized the potential a couple of Do Gooders across the globe could have in altering the way we see the world.
There’s a whole world of reasons why you’ve changed my life beyond giving me a task every week. That, of course, gave me some small belief that I, too, could change the world. But more than that, it reminded me that once upon a time, you were just a guy in a conference with a dream. A dream you might not even have realized until that free writing exercise. I don’t know. But instead of looking at that daunting task you’d scribbled out for yourself, instead of crumpling up that piece of paper, you started in on a project.
And for someone who’s always looking to start a new project, to see it grow, I’ll always have proof that it’s possible. You’ve given me that. And you’ve spread love and found a wonderful team who has helped you tremendously. I cannot thank you enough for taking yourself seriously.
By the way, every month I send out a short + sweet newsletter brimming with cool finds related to the monthly theme. It'd be stellar if you subscribed. If it's not worthy, it doesn't go in the newsletter. That. Simple.