My friend and I had the distinct pleasure of attending WE Day 2013. We were fortunate enough to get great seats in the press box which had a spectacular view of the show and the crowd of 20,000 inspired school-aged kids who had earned their way there. We also had the opportunity to sit in on a press conference with these men in the photo above.
When my friend sent this image to be included in this series, Oh Snap(shots)!, I wasn’t sure what I would write because the photo is sort of ordinary and the premise of this series is meant to inspire and surprise. I had originally said I wouldn’t include this image because I didn’t think it summed up our experience at WE Day. I wanted an image that was more profound but with it’s message perfectly clear. It turns out that she thinks of it more like a cryptic puzzle. So I decide to have a think, to get in her head.
Back to the Snapshot
I am not a star struck kind of person which may be part of the reason why sitting in the front row at the press conference seemed normal. I was there to report on the events as they happened, after all. Besides, I would never chase one of these men down the street waving my autograph book. In this snapshot they aren’t looking at the camera which makes it seems as though we weren’t there, that it could have easily been taken from a distance. But we were there and we were front row and centre, and were so close in fact that we could have reached out ruffled their hair. Not that I would but they were just so darn cute and inspiring that it might be tempting.
As I processed how I felt about my experience I realized that it was odd to say that this was a normal experience. More like out of an out-of-body experience. And one I won’t likely forget.
These three young guys, Craig Kielberg, Spencer West and Jacob Hoggard are anything but normal. Their missions are to make a difference in this world, to spread goodness around them and to overcome obstacles that seem insurmountable to most. But they also normalize their efforts. And that is what is humbling. They are normal people who believe that it can take ONE person to inspire change and to make a difference. And they all happen to be very talented.
Now I understand why she sent this photo.
In the Presence of Giants
There we were, in the presence of giants but to say I felt small would be inaccurate. In their own ways, they were surprisingly ordinary when you stripped away the microphone, the lighting, and the music. But aren’t we all, really? The thing that sets them apart from most people is that they have a massive capacity to believe in their vision to make the world a better place without ego, without pretense or the need for recognition. You might not think that given the amount of fame and presence they have, but I don’t believe it’s gone to their heads. They embrace their talents and put them to good use as far as I can tell. They are an inspiring bunch.
After seeing them and people like them in action, you can’t help but look at yourself and think, ‘What can I do to make the world a little bit better?’
It’s simple really. Have a solid faith in your ability to make a difference. Live in integrity all the time. Treat people equally and fairly. Reach out of your comfort zone and do something for your community and maybe on a global scale if you can. Extend yourself to others but most importantly, just be your awesome self.
Thanks for reading.
Are there people in your life who on the outside appear ordinary but underneath it all, stand tall like giants and make a difference in your life and those around you? I’d love to hear about them!