Lately I find myself having one small crisis after the next – One day it’s how minuscule my place in the world really is, another it’s how much I really loathe my job, but not entirely because it allows me to have a place to live, food to eat, clothes to wear, and some variationsof entertainment. (Then I feel bad for feeling bad.) Yet I know it could always be worse, and it can always get better. This keeps me from falling over the edge most days, but it isn’t enough to overcome the conflict within myself. Why do I feel this way? I have more opportunities than most of the world, yet I feel a vast weight keeping me from achieving my dreams. The weight in question is purely self doubt and fear, but it is powerful. So I look for inspiration wherever I may find it, and the best place to find it is in other people.
At age nine, Dylan Mahalingam co-founded a Youth empowerment organization that has children volunteering around the world for many different causes. You know what I was doing at nine years old? Playing games and thinking of ways to avoid school. Dylan helped to create something larger than life, from absolutely nothing. Of course, he did not do it by himself, but the very idea of a child helping to create something is both shaming and inspiring all at the same time.
Alexandra “Alex” Scott is another exceptional kid from the state of Connecticut. Diagnosed with Neuroblastoma before she was even one year old, she would only a few years later start up a lemonade stand to raise money for doctors to help other children. Her first stand raised $2000, all by herself! Alex’s lemonade stand foundation would be the ultimate creation of this little girls initiative, and by her death at only the age of eight, she would have raised over a million dollars. It continues her legacy almost twelve years after her death. An extraordinary girl.
Divine Bradley – On the cusp of Y2K, Divine Bradley was a 17 year old that noticed a problem with his neighborhood Canarsie in Brooklyn. Realizing that his community had very little in the way of outlets for the youth after school, he began to rally them togetherfor a planned center for creative expression.
By 2000, the non-profit “Team Revolution” was created, and by 2002, it had raised $25,000 that Divine used to transform half of is parents home into a community center. Seriously, just a seventeen year old kid with an idea!
It continues today by focusing on reaching out to children online in the hopes of guiding young people into the next generation of leaders and entrepreneurs.
These are only a few of the so many amazing people out there, and a lot of them are younger than eighteen! What is our excuse for feeling down on ourselves? What is our excuse for complaining about a job we hate everyday, instead of truly trying to change things for the better?
I believe we feel the insignificance of our lives more powerfully when we do nothing. We sit still, become stagnant, and then complain about it! We have no right – not when little efforts can turn into monumental changes that can benefit all those around you.
So sit around sometime and brainstorm a bit. Don’t think about the money, or the time involved. What do you want changed? Who can you speak to to get it moving? How, in a small way, can you get it started? These are the questions you should ask instead of burning doubts into your mind!
I for one am interested in following Divines lead. My small town has very little in the way of entertainment, or positive after school programs that aren’t state funded, which are always lacking and to be honest, quite restrictive on who can join. Who knows what I can do? Maybe nothing. Maybe Something!
So what can you do to change your small piece of the world for the better?