Some years ago I sat and listened to Tim Costello (CEO World Vision), and he said this:
You know what your purpose in life is not simply by what makes you happy and what you’re good at, but by where those two things intersect with the needs of this world.
Six years ago I felt purposed to work with the most vulnerable children in our world.
What I thought that looked like was the back streets of Bangladesh working with trafficked children, probably because that was the ‘sexy’ issue of 2011.
But then I found myself working alongside the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community; their children, young people and families.
My life intersected with a community just 45 minutes from my house; six year olds running the streets, 10 year olds arrested for stealing paper cups, 12 year olds turned away from school.
What I saw was not sexy, or in vogue. But I could not un-see it.
It does not matter what need of this world your life has intersected with, as you sit and read this I’m sure you can think of 99.
There are millions of needs in our communities, country and world.
But once we have seen, we cannot un-see.
We can push it away, we can supress it or even run away from it – but we cannot un-see it.
My greatest asset for changing the world is me, and my greatest liability, is also me.
I have failed numerous times, if I’m honest, sometimes monumentally. I have doubted my own capacity for change and I’ve sometimes felt it was all too hard and tried to back out.
But what I have not been able to do, is un-see.
What this world needs isn’t people who will get it right all the time or who have Master’s degrees or self-worth-building titles.
What this world needs is people who won’t look away.
Our dedication needs to be bigger than our ego, wider than our own self-preservation and deeper than our own self-worth.
This isn’t just about having good intentions, this will cost you. This will cost us.
You want to know how relentless you have to be to chase your dream, to change the world?
You have to be more relentless than disadvantage itself. You have to be more relentless than the unrelenting needs of this world. That’s how relentless we have to be.
We have to be the risk takers and game changers.
We cannot un-see. Let us be brave enough to not look away.