I’m in love! I’m in love with happy stories, I’m in love with good causes and I’m in love with the idea of a world where people are truly happy. Regardless of wealth or status, just truly happy in their own skin and in their own life.
Triggered by some recent events I’ve been thinking about people that have inspired me in one way or another. And despite all the negativity and misery that seeks to drag us down on a daily basis, there is a lot of good in the world and a lot of good people.
Let me tell you about three people that have touched and inspired me to ‘give back’.
Jennifer Esposito (actress)
I wrote a post about this a while back (My Biggest Lesson So Far) but to recap. Jennifer it turns out was born with a condition that went undiagnosed until she was 35 years old. For a period of 20 years she pleaded with doctors to help her understand what was wrong and was repeatedly told that tests showed nothing, that it was all in her head. They dismissed that there could be an underlying reason for sleeping 13 hours a night but still waking up exhausted, they dismissed her constant stomach problems and joint pains, they dismissed her raging panic attacks, her knees buckling, extreme sinus headaches, numbness, tingling, yellowing skin, nails so weak that they would break at a mere touch. They even dismissed the lump that was protruding from her neck. She was sent away with prescriptions for Valium and the numbers of therapists, but inside Jennifer was weak and beaten, dying both physically and mentally. She knew there was more to it but no-one would listen.
Just in time, with yet another doctor, she pleaded once again “I need help, I need your help, please.” And for the first time this doctor really listened and she made a promise “I will help you. I will find out what’s wrong”. And true to her word, the doctor gave her a diagnosis, a lifeline. She had celiac disease. From this moment she began a journey to heal her body and mind. The heartbreaking story of being dismissed and questioning her own sanity can be found at www.jennifersway.org.
Hearing this story and then from others whose stories mirrored that of Jennifer’s, not only concerning Celiac Disease but other illnesses and diseases, taught me something so simple but so important – that as a health coach I need to listen. Not just hear the words, but really listen because I may just be that last resort when someone has given up hope. Understanding the level of emotional pain, as well as the physical, that so many people unnecessarily suffer touched me so deeply. I never want to be one of those people who dismisses.
Adam Braun (Businessman, author and philanthropist)
I discovered Adam Braun when someone recommended I read his book ‘The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change’.
At the age of 25, Adam had everything, a brilliant corporate career, an impressive salary and a lifestyle and home to match. But inside it wasn’t enough. Deep down he had a desire to do something more meaningful, he craved a purpose.
He opted to take a Semester at Sea (SAS) to immerse himself in different cultures but a near death experience at sea left him shaken and more determined than ever to carve a new path for himself.
Adam formulated a plan to travel the world asking children what they most want. Expecting responses similar to that of American children, for items of value, he is completely floored when an Indian child replies with “A pencil”. Such small requests are made everywhere he travels and this inspired Adam to give up his job and start what has already become a hugely successful charity, with only $25. Pencils of promise are committed to global education by building schools, training teachers and more. To date, since only 2009, they have built 329 schools and have served nearly 34,000 students! Find out more here www.pencilsofpromise.org and I highly recommend the book.
Rob Lawrie (an ordinary extraordinary man)
You may have heard of Rob in the media, especially over the last few weeks as he was in court this month (January 2016), facing a 5 year jail sentence for smuggling a child into the UK.
Let me give you a brief back story. Rob was touched by the plight of the current refugees living in the camp known as The Jungle, in Calais, France. He had been working with other aid workers and refugees to build shelters. During this time he got to know a little 4-year old girl, Bahar Ahmadi (known as Bru) and her father. On several occasions Bru’s father begged Rob to take his little girl to the UK to live with her aunt, legally living in Yorkshire, just a few miles from Rob’s home, where she would be warm, safe and cared for. Repeatedly Rob said no, it would be illegal, but on one particularly cold night last October, he couldn’t bear to see her suffer any longer and agreed to take her. He admits it was a moment of madness and it was not thought through but he acted on instinct, desperate to help a poor child that deserved better.
“All rational thought left me,” he said. “I thought, how can I leave this little girl here?
“There’s a family there that can pay for her, educate her, love her, house her. She’ll have her own bedroom. Or, I can give her back to her dad who’s going to put her back in a cold shelter and carry on living like that.”
To cut a long story short, Bru was discovered and sent back to The Jungle. Rob faced a smuggling charge but was eventually cleared of this and instead given a suspended sentence for a lesser charge of endangerment of Bru’s life. Rob and his army of supporters were thrilled with the decision by the French legal system and it sent out a strong message of compassion for his actions.
I know many of you reading this will have different opinions on what Rob did and opinions on the whole refugee crisis. I have no idea as to the solution. That is not at all what this post is about. This is about Rob, an ordinary man with an extraordinary heart, who was prepared to do what most of us never would. He took the risk of putting a child’s future before that of his own. He acted with compassion and love and has never stopped. Despite the immense pressure of the past few months Rob has still worked tirelessly to highlight the plight of those suffering as those of us who have taken to actively supporting his actions will testify. In the past week we have seen some positive moves by the government with regards to the child refugees and Rob has been instrumental in this. He is a man of courage, of compassion and love and in my eyes he’s a hero.
This is why I’m giving away a FREE coaching programme!
I want to give back. So I’m offering you, my readers, the chance to WIN A 1 MONTH KICKSTART PROGRAMME worth 199€!!
To be in with a chance of winning all you need to do is:
♥ Drop me a line via Facebook or email to let me know you’d love this opportunity!
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A winner will be announced at the start of February. Good luck!
So who has inspired you recently and why? Let me know in the comments below, via Facebook or by email (email@example.com). Catch you next week!