“I was not a messiah, but an ordinary man who had become a leader because of extraordinary circumstances.” Nelson Mandela
On two occasions this week I have had discussions with people about how we deem ‘it has always been this way, so why change it?’ We have upheld people with all of the credentials for a public life and yet they are significantly lacking in human skills and ethics (not to mention optimism). Perhaps these folks shout loud enough. Perhaps they have created a facade which blinds the unknowing. Perhaps they have used materialism and the unknowing from living abroad to sway the crowds.
What they don’t know is that the world is changing. There is a shift because the uncaring clinicians have not been able to tempt the change that a holistic individual can. Finally, we see why some of these people were contributing in the first place. Power, money, status.
Then along comes a young man with his hair tied back, but his eyes are shining with the courage of honesty and he cares about the people that many do not get off their pedestal to talk to. Along comes a young man who admits that he does not know the business well but he knows people because he knows himself. He may not have the most celebrious family lineage, but then neither did many of the people who went on to do great things in this world. All a person needs is to be taken seriously and given a chance, helped, encouraged. They could be the humanitarian titans of tomorrow.
More than this, he is stepping out of his comfort zone into the blaring light of criticism and encouragement and saying, “I am worthy enough to be here”. Many do not go forward because they are either contributing effectively in other areas or sitting on the fence and slinging stones at those who are trying.
How do we get people to believe in themselves and trust others? By constantly putting them down? By laughing at their attempts to contribute?
“I’ll go back to St Helena and sort them out”. Well come on then. Please do…..and until then, “zip it” and contribute where you are by buying a homeless person a cup of tea or going to help out in a soup kitchen or some other worthy cause. Put our energy to good use right where we are and remember the people who were here before us who made the greatest impact without the latest phones, the most expensive cars, the biggest job titles but a head full of wisdom, love and kindness.
Note: All photos taken on St Helena Island