Saturday, November 12, 2016

Be Passionate. Be Humble. Be Knowledgeable.

Today I had the honor of attending the Inaugural Kentucky Hunger Dialogue. While I clearly learned a lot about the fight to end hunger on a global, national, and local level, I learned a whole lot more about what it means to be an influential person. 

The keynote speaker of the event was Colmon Elridge. He planted a seed in me that validated the goals that I have created for myself. I have never been so inspired yet cried so much within a 15 minute period. 

Colmon is a very respectable and inspiring man. While he spoke greatly about his personal story, he was very real with crowd. I am finding it very difficult to put into exact words the impact that Colmon had on me today. He got real. He spoke truthfully. And I related- not to every aspect of his story, but specific moments in his life brought up distinct memories of moments in mine. Moments in my life that I had yet to figure out how I could use to help others. But now I see it and I finally understand. 

My desire to help youth in the middle school age range stems from my past. It comes from a sixth grader, with a Staples box and bowl of crab and shrimp alfredo. While the explicit details of them is not important, it is important to focus on the age. In sixth grade, my life was changing along with the world around me. The moment when I was most vulnerable, I sought out a mentor, a teacher, a friend that I could look up to. I can't say that I found one. 

I say all this because it comes back to one main point that I pulled out from Colmon's speech: in whatever you are passionate about, do it humbly and without seeking honor. Do it all for a reason and know why. 

Be passionate: find something you care about and care about it whole-heartedly. I care about youth. I care about middle schoolers. I spend my time serving them especially through my time as their color guard instructor. I plan to spend my life serving them. 
The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.  
Proverbs 20:5
Be humble and don't seek honor: do what you do because you are passionate. Don't let your drive be to win the vote of others or to be honored with the highest award. Be humble in all that you do. 
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.   
Phillipians 2:3-4 
Be knowledgeable: do it all for a reason and know why. I want to help youth because I want to be that mentor, that role model, that friend that I once sought out. I want to help those who don't have someone to be there encouraging them. My goal is to impact the lives of youth. 
Let all that you do be done in love.  
1 Corinthians 16:14

Colmon said what I have always believed: change the world for somebody. You do not have to make a large, lasting impact that the whole world recognizes. Making life better for one person is a success. 

In whatever you, do it because you care. 

Be passionate. Be humble. Be knowledgeable. 

Thank you, Colmon. You are an inspiration to far more than you will ever realize. Thank you for reigniting my fire and helping to validate my passions. Thank you for using your bad for good. Your story will forever change the lives of others. Thank you. 

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