Apparently little guys can do big things! According to MSNBC, Jonathon Slack, a seven-year old boy from the Chicago area, raised four TRUCKLOADS of food and toys for a Chicago shelter. Put simply: WOW.
You can read the story on the news site. I don’t want to steal their words and just rehash it. Instead, I just want to offer some thoughts I took away from reading about our young hero.
First, what he did was hard difficult impossible easy. I’m big, bad Becoming Last guy and this kid just did what I have started and gotten side-tracked doing twice! He saw a need, printed some flyers, gave them out, and bam! Four truckloads! I get caught up in making the flyer perfect, getting all my ducks in a row, and he just stepped out and did it. There’s something to be said for planning, but there’s also something to be said for just doing it. What he did was something we could all do.
Second, it got personal. Jonathon’s mom said he had never shown empathy for this type of thing before. It all developed after seeing a homeless woman outside of Macy’s. It got personal for him. I think we all have up these layers of protection from things like this. We’ve built thick skins from seeing impoverished people on TV, in magazines, and homeless people on the street. Poverty and hurting people are just a category that is out there. It’s part of life. But when an issue hits you personally, it changes you.
Third, start small. Yes, he got four truckloads. But he only took ten days! 10 days = 4 truckloads! I think we sometimes feel a little overwhelmed when we think about serving or giving. Don’t feel like you have to end poverty or hunger or homelessness or whatever your cause. Just start small. He made flyers. He gave people 10 days. Look what happened.
Fourth, just do it! Yeah, so I robbed Nike’s old slogan and that’s lame, but I’m serious. If you have an idea, do it. Pursue it. Get a few friends together. Hold a family meeting. You don’t have to get your church’s backing or the backing of an organization. Sure, they can help and that could come later, but don’t be paralyzed by the mindset of, “I can’t do this” or “I can’t lead.” Just start small. Whatever it is you are passionate about, it is you that has the passion and just like Jonathon, you can make a difference.