I have always felt stories were important to share and listen to. Our personal stories help us know that we are not alone on our journey. My talent just happens to be sparking conversations with pretty much anyone. Sending me into the grocery for a gallon of milk could lead to a long wait in the car for my family. I always return, though, with an incredible personal story! Sharing stories face-to-face feels safe to me; I have control of the tone and emotion. Putting my story in writing for the world to see leaves me with a small pit in my stomach.
This last week I took that leap and posted my story on the ONE blog. Here is a link: http://one.org/blog/2011/05/19/i-have-already-changed-the-world/ The feedback and responses I am receiving are overwhelming. I am humbled to think that my words are inspiring. First I am not a writer that can just spill our words of prose. One small email can sometimes take me twenty minutes to sound the way I want it to. More importantly, suggesting that the choices I make for my life “should” be practiced by others is not my desire.
I have always led a simple life in a way that felt right to me. “The path less traveled” sums up my story. Those closest to me know that I have never been mainstream and though I love to talk, being in a social scene has never been a comfortable place for me. Now I am hosting ONE events, meeting with Members of Congress on behalf of the world’s poorest, and traveling to Kenya in July! Deep inside I knew this was coming. This is part of my purpose on this Earth. All along I have been present with what has been right in front of me and appreciated every moment. I now have an opportunity to be a voice on a much larger scale for those living in extreme poverty. If writing my experience inspires others to join the conversation then it is time for me to dive in completely.
I intend to take this responsibility and honor it. For the first time in my life I will be recording my stories as well as the stories I am touched by every day. This experience will be new and I welcome you to share the journey with me. A friend keeps this quote on her email signature; “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.”—Howard Thurman. I invite you to “come alive” with me together as ONE.