“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has” – Margaret Mead
A couple of weeks ago I was given the opportunity to put a big, fat, stinking check mark next to item #7 on my Childhood Dreams List. Since then, life has been whirlwind for me. My head is still spinning with everything, and I finally feel like it’s all making enough sense in order for me to write it down. Or is it? Let me step back for a minute. Have you ever heard the song Africa by Toto? I absolutely love that song. It’s one of those songs that when I hear it play something inside of me moves. For whatever reason, I found it be powerful. Not sure why, but I did, still do, actually.
On the topic of Africa, over the last few months I have been a witness to a very small group of individuals with big plans and even bigger hearts. This group of people met over a year ago, formed a union, put together a business plan and this week are in the process of executing it. At this moment they are in Ghana, Africa working towards providing affordable housing for its citizens, among other things.
You’re probably thinking, ok, so why is this a big deal? Let me explain – this is the first time in my life that I have ever witnessed someone actually go after a dream of theirs, let alone a huge one like this. I’ve heard stories of people making it big, I’ve met people whose dreams have come to fruition long before meeting them, but this is the fist time I’ve seen it from the time it was just some ‘discussion’ at the kitchen table. And now, this group is trekking along the streets of Accra, meeting with officials, and getting things done, and I get to experience it vicariously through them with up to the minute updates.
As they cross the city and countryside and send me pictures and updates, I am learning that the world, as big as it is, at the same time is so small. As much as we all curse technology, at the same time it grants us to do amazing things. Accra, even though their infrastructure isn’t all that great – no road signs, potholes everywhere and poverty ridden areas, also allows us to keep in touch the way we are. I feel like I am in Africa right now, even though I’m typing this blog while sitting at my kitchen table.
I’m helping my Ghana Group as best as I can. I lend advice, I provide ideas, I’m a sounding board. Even though I can’t physically be there with them, in some way I am. I’ve also been given the opportunity of corresponding on a regular basis with a beautiful woman from Ghana. She is in charge of ensuring that these children in the school Children Of The Ark receive a good education and a chance at life. I’m helping her by brainstorming ways to help these kids. And it feels good. I feel as if I’m also helping the people in Accra every which way I can. I’m finding that by giving what I can, I’m actually receiving so much more in return.
These recent events have got me thinking, that if you’re open to life and what it gives to you, the goals you set out for yourself really do get met. You just have to be open to the reality that they may not unfold in the way you expect them to, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean that you haven’t met them. I unknowingly have just reached goal # 11. I suspect that this will be an ongoing thing, but to think that I am able to help people in a different country, one that I have never been to, and communicate directly with some of the people there is an awesome thing. My Ghana Group has been so inspiring and I can’t wait to see them reap the rewards from the seeds they are sowing. Life is truly amazing, especially if you have the drive to go after what you really want. And really, the only risk in life is not taking a risk at all.