It helps that I've made some great friends along my journey. I know you've heard the saying that God puts people in your life for a reason. I've always believed it to be true. Today, I'd like to introduce you to one of those friends. We met in the call center working in the trenches. He's funny and witty, as his Cheese is Funny page on Facebook will prove. Be sure to check out Movie Quote Thursday. His smile is contagious and almost rarely absent from his face. He has a million friends and, honestly, nobody messes with Yosef (did I get that right, Mike?). A few years ago, he started his career in management and put his natural writing talents out there in hopes of inspiring others. Yesterday, I had an email from him about Inspiration.
Sometimes we get bogged down by our own problems, our own insecurities, and a fear of failure. So bogged down that we forget that we may be an inspiration to someone else. His email reminded me to live Inspired. It inspired me so much I wanted to share it with you. Here goes:
“That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.” - Walt Whitman
This has been a weird couple of weeks. Thanks to social media I’ve been constantly reminded to mourn, yet celebrate the life of one of my favorite actors. Through the same medium I’ve witnessed a lot of my friends dumping a bucket of cold water on their heads. Other than the delivery method of these messages, on the surface they don’t seem to have anything in common. They do.
The first “grownup” movie I saw in the theater with my Dad was Good Morning, Vietnam. We laughed together until our faces hurt. That movie won Robin Williams a spot as one of my favorite actors. Every time he appeared on the TV or movie screen I laughed. That is an incredible gift. Even though he didn’t pen the lines from Dead Poets Society, he is the person who delivered the advice “carpe diem.” I’ve always thought “seize the day” is one of the best philosophies to live by that I’ve ever heard.
Whether or not you believe that dumping water on your head is an effective way to raise awareness, you can’t argue with the results. Since June 1st the Ice Bucket Challenge has helped raise over $50 million for ALS (their total contributions for 2013 were roughly $19.4 million.) One of the most awesome aspects of this is that The Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t the brainchild of a top marketing firm. The ALS Foundation barely has a marketing budget. And this campaign costs them nothing. Whether you donated $10 or $100 or dumped water on your head, you are a part of one of the most successful charitable fund raisers of all time.
So what do Robin Williams and the Ice Bucket Challenge have in common? They made/make a difference. Robin raised millions of dollars for charity through his various foundations and Comic Relief. But, he also made us laugh and through some of his movies taught some great life lessons. And the IBC? Yes, I’m tired of videos of my friends taking ice water showers clogging up my feed…but, $50 million dollars? That may not be enough to cure a horrible disease, but it will provide funding for a lot of research. I can put up with a few more videos interspersed between the cat pictures and game requests.
Now, you’re asking yourself “self, in spite of his disclaimer, isn't Mike eventually going to make a point regarding Customer Service?” Good question. And, no…not really. I want you to think about what you contribute. What is the part you play in this wonderful, fun, scary, incredible journey we all share? Do you make people laugh? Do you comfort them? Do you dump water on your head to raise awareness? Do you provide Legendary Customer Experiences? (Okay…I included one thing about customer service). What kind of influence or inspiration do you provide for those around you…your friends, your family?
You all make a difference to someone. Most of you, to a lot of someones. The great thing is that we get to choose what kind and how much of a difference.
“’That the powerful play goes on, and you may contribute a verse.’ What will your verse be.” - Robin Williams as John Keating / Dead Poets Society
What will your verse be? Have a great day.
MikeD, as I fondly call him, is a Team Manager at Ralph Lauren Ecommerce-North America. He lives an inspired life with his better half, Sonja, and some weird cat they found somewhere (Just kidding about the cat, Sonja!), as well as a multitude of friends in the 'boro.
I encourage you to let your little light shine today!
Be the light
Happy Tuesday, y'all!