Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Inspiring...

I saw an ABC News story that really touched me. It was about an 11 year old boy who when given 2 weeks to live decided that what he wanted to do in that 2 weeks was feed the homeless. And feed the homeless he did .. inspiring people to take action around the country to feed hungry people. What an amazing thing for a child to do and I had to wonder why if a kid could mobilize so many people why more of us couldn't make an even bigger dent in this area and on other social issues. I also wondered why some people end up so selfless when the norm really seems to be to just look out for our self or our own.

I had the opportunity to be a guest at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation's Community Health Leaders (RWJF) awards last month. The RWJF recognizes people who are impacting health care in an innovative and positive way. The competition is tough. They select 10 every year, this year their were 800 nominations. The leaders that are recognized are the cream of the crop. I have actually been to 4 of their ceremonies and the stories of the leaders always inspire me. The conversations among the leaders are unlike most events I go to because each person is truly passionate about their cause and how they can move it forward to impact more people in a positive way. At this conference there were 95 past & present awardees from 47 states and Puerto Rico, young, old, blind, deaf, in wheel chairs, all ethnicities and all with a common thread of making the world a better place for others.

Quite a room .. quite inspiring.. yet I still wonder what the common thread is that makes a person step outside the world of self interest to devote their lives to making it a better place for others? These folks put aside the excuses of family obligations, lack of money, time, talent, resources, ability or interest by others to name a few and against the odds, against reason in some cases, make things happen.  No excuses, lots of determination and a passion to make the world a better place.  Too bad we can't bottle that!   I welcome your comments on the subject ..

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