April 25, 2017 · 2:27 pm
“No one changed the world by staying put.”
I don’t know who originally coined that phrase, but I saw it over the weekend on a napkin under my Ginger Ale on a Delta flight from Pittsburgh to Atlanta. Great thought from a company that wants you to travel more, right?
But that quote isn’t just about traveling and seeing the world. It’s about what you do when you get there.
Seeing the world outside of our own environment opens our eyes to new cultures, foods, fashions and beliefs. But it also opens doors to new opportunities to learn and serve.
I’ve been fortunate to visit some amazing parts of the world the past few years, but there are many others still on my “bucket list.” I admit some are for pure pleasure – Hawaii, Greece, Italy…but others are because I believe one person can change the world by NOT staying put. One day, I’d like to help bring clean water to Ghana with my friend Walter Hughes. One day, I’d like to administer polio vaccines to children in India with my friend Nancy Barbee. One day…
But until then, I will find ways to bring about change in my little corner of the world. To do this, I can’t stay put. And that doesn’t necessarily mean travel. It means being willing to do for others, and to give back more than you receive. It means living every day in “service above self” as we say in Rotary.
It means being a good friend, aunt, daughter, sister, mentor, employee, boss, neighbor or volunteer. By refusing to “stay put,” I can change the world. So can you, if you’re willing.
April 24, 2017 · 2:28 pm
Today is the day I’ve been both preparing for and dreading. I’d like to say this is why you haven’t heard from me in a few weeks, but that wouldn’t be true. The reality is I just got busy – traveling, speaking, working, even a vacation thrown in there. Basically I got busy with life and I let my writing (blogs, emails, everything) move farther down on my “to do” list.
(Weren’t you guys supposed to be holding me accountable on that??)
But yesterday, I spent some time on a plane returning from a great trip to West Virginia where I spoke to a group of Rotarians at their district conference. My job was to motivate them to “find your passion and make it your purpose.” My intent was to renew their enthusiasm for “service above self.” I think I accomplished that goal.
But more importantly, they did the same for me. They renewed my enthusiasm. They motivated me to write. They stirred something inside of me that made me want to create again. They reminded me of MY purpose.
But back to today…Without sharing all the details yet (I’d prefer to wait and see how it turns out), just know that this is “one of those days” that you know is coming but don’t look forward to. I’d appreciate your positive thoughts and prayers, and I promise to share more soon.
I don’t write this message to instill fear or concern, or to elicit sympathy, but rather to remind you that we all face issues bigger than ourselves. Just because my life looks “glamorous” (I’ve heard it called that!) and fun in pictures or on social media, I have bad days same as you. I pull the covers back over my head and pretend my problems don’t exist. (For me, that also means I fail to put my pen on paper and I tell myself it will be ok.)
But some days, like today, I am reminded of both my passion and my purpose. And I’m reminded of friends like you all over the world who inspire me to do more, to be more and to give more.
So for that I thank you. I pray I can do the same for you.