>Yesterday night I stumbled upon the CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute. I am familiar with CNN Heroes, but was not aware of the tribute they do. CNN chooses the top ten heroes and then viewers vote and choose the hero of the year. At this tribute they award each of the heros and then announce the hero of the year. Many musicians and actors show their support by presenting the awards or performing. (John Krasinski, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Meg Ryan, Hugh Jackman, etc.) I had voted a month or so ago for Yohannes Gebregeorgis, an Ethiopian that after immigrating to the US and becoming a librarian choose to go back to Ethiopia to share his love of literature with the children of Ethiopia. He founded Ethiopia Reads. I have written about this organization in previous posts. Another hero featured was a nanny from Malawai who started and sponsors a school in her home country on her nanny pay and from small donations of other nannies. A man from Savannah, Ga was a nominated hero because he goes to Mexico and brings ongoing prosthetic and orthotic care to those in need. If you would like to read more about these amazing people check out http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2008/cnn.heroes/index.html.
The people nominated were just everyday people. They aren’t movie stars or rock stars. They aren’t millionaires or scientists. They are people that saw a need and then decided they were the person to fill that need. They are living my favorite quote “Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Ghandi) They wanted to see something change, they saw an injustice and didn’t think, “someone should do something about that.” They thought, “I am going to do something about that.” I felt very small after watching this program. I felt small because I feel like I am one step away from being one of those people. Unfortunately, it is a very big step. I see a need, I have ideas, I have passion, but I don’t do something. That’s what sets people like these heroes apart… they do something. After seeing this program it was enough for me to just sit and hate myself for not doing something. Instead, I felt inspired because after all I am only one step away. I need to define what it is I am supposed to do and not be afraid to do it.
I am to the point now that it is not enough for me to just talk about all the injustices that grip my heart. My words don’t work. I am not eloquent enough, I can’t seem to communicate what I believe in a way that inspires others. However, actions always inspire others. My goal now is to use my actions to replace my failing words. I want to “be the change I want to see in the world.” I am done with just talking about the lives of people in countries like Ethiopia. I want to do something to help change their lives. I am done just talking about the ongoing atrocities facing Congo. I want to do something to help stop those atrocities. I am done just talking about how every seven seconds, somewhere in the world a child under the age of five dies of starvation, how nearly one billion people in the world live on less than $1 a day, another 2.5 billion people in the world live on less than $2 a day and how nearly one billion people in the world cannot read or sign their name. I want to change those statistics. I want to be the reason why a child lives, a family survives, and a child can go to school. Talking about all of these things is important, bringing awareness is important. But my words cannot inspire unless I first act on it. It seems to me that the CNN Heroes words mean so much more and inspire so many more because they have already done something. So as the new year approaches, this will be my focus… to do something. 2008 will be my last year of caring too much and doing too little.
Thanks for tuning in and holding me accountable. Now I have to do something because I told all of you I would. 🙂