I believe most people are generally good people, trying to do the right things in life. I count myself among those. I strive to be kind and giving. I attempt to be a loving friend and family member. I worship God and endeavor to be a good Christian.
A few years ago, when I envisioned writing my Lemons to Lemonade series of inspirational books about ‘triumph over tragedy’, I imagined bringing awareness to important social topics. My hope was that the increased awareness would lead to societal change.
What I hadn’t anticipated is the profound effect these projects would have on my life. As a result of this project, I met two incredible women who have devoted their lives to missions like I have never seen before. They both remind me of Mother Teresa in terms of their devotion and dedication to their cause. It humbles me to see how they are making use of their lives.
Shawn Jayroe founded RVR Horse Rescue in Riverview, Florida after seeing a need to help abused and neglected equines. Colleen Adams created Empowered Youth USA, based in Miami, Florida to give wayward inner city boys a path out of poverty and crime. Both women have superhuman resolve to paddle upstream against a strong current. Both run non-profit organizations and rely heavily on the generosity of others for funding, making money a constant struggle. By the end of each interview I have conducted with these women, admiration and amazement fill my heart.
Knowing these women has made me consider more seriously whether I am making use of the precious gift of life – or if I am simply coasting along, enjoying the ride, but not leaving my fingerprints on anything of lasting value. I believe we can leave a meaningful mark on the world without going to the extremes that Shawn and Colleen have.
I haven’t really solidified my New Year’s resolutions, although ‘fitting into my clothes again’ and ‘learning Spanish’ are written in pencil. A general goal that seems to be speaking to me in different ways is to be a better person today than I was yesterday.
With that in mind, Shawn and Colleen will be my shining examples that ordinary people can accomplish the extraordinary. I don’t expect or intend to devote my entire life to a cause, but I can’t help but be inspired by these two women as to what living life to your calling looks like.
Where are you leaving your fingerprints?