The Face of the Revolution
Most folks haven't heard of him. I never had. But I did find it odd considering he's got a block alongside other, more famous people, like Elvis.
But more curious than his relative anonymity is his lifespan. Carved under his name are the years of his life: 1876-1906.
In 30 years, Charles Hunter did enough to be remembered in a granite stone for all of eternity.
Such a realization makes me want to work harder than ever for the next four years, to make sure that when I hit the three-decade mark, I've got something to show for it.
But, I realize that I already do. And so do many others. In fact, such a sense of meaning is something that drives young people today to do something - anything - to make their life one worth living. And while lots of commercials, TV shows, and news reports will try to convince you that twenty-somethings are finding this meaning in wild parties and random hookups, I've got news for you: they're finding meaning in making an impact.
One of the perks of what I do is that I get to meet passionate people who believe in their work to change the world. If you ever doubt humanity and the capability for good in people, send me an email and I'll let you spend a day with me. Where we go and who we meet will restore your notion of what remarkable people can do.
Over the course of the last two weeks, I've met with:
- Allyson, who works to tell the story of inner-city youth who need a place to go
- Jeffrey, who wants people to know that it's easy to live the green life
- Christy, who tries to get more fair-trade products out there
- Herbie, who is improving the adoption process
- Andre, who promotes positive news and stories
- Jennifer, who pairs mentors with kids
- Candi, who matches volunteers with the nonprofits that need them
- Lacey, who promotes history and the arts
- Leigh, who wants to raise awareness about nonprofit causes and needs
And these are just the people who are under or near 30. If we expand the age bracket, then we're really talking about revolution:
- Jim, who publishes books that help people navigate through life
- Jane, who makes the criminal justice system better
- Lynn, Mary and West who provide companionship to senior citizens
- Andrea, who feeds hungry people
- Lu, who helps children and their families through the cancer process
- Shelli, who helps individuals and their families deal with eating disorders
That's not a bad life's worth of meetings, not to mention 14 days. And what I see each time I meet these revolutionaries is a commitment, a passion, and a dream. Regardless of their age, these folks show that anything is possible.
The people in the first list will accomplish a lot before they're thirty, and they'll be worthy of a granite block, just like Hunter. And if they're lucky, unlike Hunter, they'll be around to carry on the revolution, like the people in the second list, equally worthy of a name etched in stone.
But I've seen the revolution. And while we quickly think it looks like big checks and Bono, it looks like a young, concerned and caring face.