One day, I spoke with a friend that I had not kept in touch with for years. The friendly chat about life in general and being in a foreign country changed to a more serious one about careers, frustrations, and plans for the future.
She asked me what I wanted to do; my plans. I said I wanted to be a social entrepreneur, then dodged the questions about the specifics with vague, non-answer answers.
You see, I have always had big dreams. No, actually I have always had almost-too-ridiculously-BIG-dreams, that I rarely tell anyone about. Not because they were really ridiculous; not because they were selfish or absurd. What really scared me was failure–and what everyone else might have to say about my dreams and consequent failure.
So I figure it was better not to say them out loud. Makes perfect sense, right? No? What, I’m being fucking vague again? Well–
You see, I had always thought that I would be one of the many “movers and shakers” of my generation (vanity, mayhaps?).
I thought I’d known that I–just like many others–have this special calling, a purpose. I wanted to inspire the world at least half as much as it has inspired me. I wanted to to give back to a nation that, although often seen as a 3rd world mess, has given me the experiences and values that had made me into the person that I am now. But as much as this desire to do something had been nagging me for years, there’s this little voice that silently asks, “But what could you do? You are just you. A 23 year old, without any real influence.” It was a small voice, but it resonated like the voice of reason.
I’d say to myself, Maybe one day, when you are in the position to do something, because right now I am powerless. Right now, I can’t do anything. I have no influence.
Am I really that powerless though? Or is it an excuse? Is it really just something I tell myself so I won’t feel bad about not even trying?
Not too long ago, I was reading a local weekly paper when I chanced upon one of the featured people from the community. Eleven year old Nathaniel Crossley, a 6th grade student, is a humanitarian. At 11, he has been raising funds to build water wells in Tanzania and is one of impossible2Possible’s inspirational ambassadors. He was eleven–a 6th grade student.
The truth is, I am not as powerless as I make myself believe. No, I will not be able to initiate a huge change overnight, but I can do something right now. Anyone can, and it all starts with commitment. I never had the courage to say my hopes out loud; I was always too hesitant to reach out and share my visions and dreams because I knew that if I did, I would have to truly commit to it.
I am a person with many big dreams. I want to help better the world; help others see that the future is not so bleak. I want to help give hope–even if it means making a difference to one person at a time.
I don’t know how to make this happen; I don’t have my plans laid out, but this is me committing to a purpose. This is me, taking a pre-calculated plunge into a mission that I am truly passionate about.