What do my teens feel about what's happened in Nigeria? Or about the fact that in some parts of the world, attempting to pursue an education could cost a girl her freedom and her life? What do the their teenage friends think? What's the buzz in the high school halls?
When I arrived to the island, I saw a thriving clinic with lines of pregnant women outside. When I asked the nurse why so many women now use the clinic, she said, "Because of the yellow suitcase." I wondered: How could a suitcase save a life?
Giving is good for your health. Well, if you wanted a selfish reason, there you have one! A study last year at the University of Exeter Medical School found that volunteering was connected to lower rates of depression.
I've been on this path for four years (knock on wood), and can tell you It's not all fluff and feel good intentions, but its 100 percent completely worth the journey. So if you're thinking of changing the world, here's some tips on how to stay sane.
Media, I challenge you to overexpose, create frenzy, exploit actions not taken to preserve the life and well-being of these girls, and to encourage a global movement to take action to bring these girls home.
Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, 30 elementary school kids crawl right into the "Cat Colony" of The Animal Rescue League of Berks County, Pennsylvania, crack open a book, and snuggle up to the strays.
This is the power of the Ignite Good organization. I no longer feel the speaker's remorse from last night will be permanent. I now understand that my personal narrative is an ever-evolving story with many characters, twists, and turns.
If I clicked my mouse one more time and didn't take that leap, I would have continued to do disservice to everyone, including myself. Our genius lies in our truth and when we pursue it, the world gets to experience it.
Whether it was breaking up with a significant other, moving to a new city or quitting a good job. There's something in you that gets fed up with the status quo and causes you act, and act fast. Well my attendance of the Ignite Good program was my something.
When is the last time you stopped everything you were doing: turned your phone off (yes, totally off!), sat still, closed your eyes and held your city in a thought-space filled with nothing but pure goodness? Does it seem impossible?
As I entered the workshop not knowing what was going to happen I felt insecure and like I didn't really have a story that could touch others let alone help them. I watched individuals and myself open up and begin to share from their hearts their unique stories of self.
The incentives to acknowledge failure are also not there -- donors are more likely to give money next year to organizations who've succeeded and whether you are a government, a corporate, or a philanthropist, you don't want to see that your money was wasted when it's about saving lives.
At the time of the avalanche, the Sherpas were working on a notoriously dangerous slope, setting ropes and ladders for hundreds of mostly Western climbers who pay tens of thousands of dollars to attempt an Everest ascent.
I have not yet engineered the new willingness to be vulnerable into a complete 'story of me' -- a compelling reason that I would make personal sacrifices to drive change. That will take time. But now, at least, I know to look for it and where.
A pause doesn't have to be a vacation or a physical change of scenery. It can be a daily routine that you create and allow yourself to just "be." Try not to overthink anything, and remember you are just there, being.