Thursday, October 11, 2012
Day 285: Tried To Give An Inspiring Speech
Today I was in awe of the people around me. Today I met people who, in the matter of just a few minutes of speaking, reinvigorated my commitment to these random acts (I guess my commitment didn't need reinvigorating. Let's just say the added some vigorating to my existing invigoration. I am sorry you just read this jumbly little blurb). Today I saw people who were instigators. Not instigators in the traditional, negative sense of the word, but people who are instigating positive change in the world around them. There was Lilly Ledbetter. A woman who saw that she wasn't being treated as fairly as her male peers, so she decided to do something about it all the way to getting a federal bill passed in her name. There was Zach Wahls who became an internet sensation simply for standing up for the right for his two mothers to be married. Stephen Bradberry, a Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award winner who led a grassroots effort to support the low-income families in New Orleans' Ninth Ward after Hurricane Katrina. Lauren Lubin who has started an international movement to empower those who have become invisible and oppressed. I met and heard Steve Casey, a man who saw the lack of access to healthy, fresh produce on Chicago's south side, and so he created a way to get it into the community. There was high school student, Martha Zuniga, who, even at a young age, is working to see that girls all around the world have the opportunity to be educated regardless of efforts in places to ensure they are not. And then there was me. To say that I felt a little out of place amongst such inspiring and world changing people would be an understatement. I was invited to speak about 366 Random Acts at an event for Chicago Ideas Week, but wasn't quite sure that A. I knew what I would talk about and B. that I even belonged there. As each speaker went up to present to the audience, I became more and more nervous, almost to the point that I entertained faking a sudden bout of laryngitis. Luckily, Lilly in her sweet, Southern drawl told me to just remember that I was invited to tell people my story and that no one knew that story better than me. I was instantly calmed by her words, and felt much more comfortable...that is until my name was called. I made my way up there, and then I pretty much blacked out, not remembering anything I said. So hopefully today, for my random act of kindness I gave a speech that I hope inspired the people that were there. The main theme that I stressed was how easy it is to spread kindness and to do kind acts, so I would like to reiterate that to everyone on here. The opportunity for kindness is there, you just have to look for it.