The Heroes of our World

Yesterday night was a very emotional one for me watching CNN Hero of the year broadcast. I was moved to tears but most importantly very inspired by the lives of those wonderful men and women who define the real essence of living – unconditional giving! The stories reeled with unselfishness and the rare gift of improving humanity through uncommon sacrifices.

A story that pricked me hard was that of Phymean Noun – A Cambodian woman. Having herself grown up in the very poor suburbs of Cambodia – she struggled going through high school and understood the liberating effect of education on a life. She decided to give back to the society by helping poor kids growing up on trash picking get a life. She is providing free education as well as job training for these kids. The touching part was when one of the kids on the refuse dumps was asked about his ambition in life and the answer came automatically – I don’t know. But fast forward to those who are getting education in her school – they want to be teachers, doctors and complete their degrees; goals they did not have while on the dumps.

Another touching story came from Africa – Yohannes Gebregeorgis. He is an Ethiopian who emigrated to the United States many years ago and fell in love with books and reading. He became a Children librarian and was more fascinated at the opportunities that can come about when a country’s future is secured by educating its young ones. He returned to Ethiopia some years ago to start his pet project – Ethiopia Reads. This NGO has established many libraries across the country and also run a mobile donkey-drawn library. His aim is to promote reading culture in young Ethiopians. This is a laudable goal and a very important one at that due to the fact that education liberates the mind.

A man who combines philanthropy with a sense of godliness is David Puckett. His whole essence smells of an ambition to help others and laced with purposeful living. When he speaks, you can discern his humility, courage and his love for God’s work. He is giving hope to people who have been condemned to the wheel chair or their bed when they cannot afford one. He makes artificial limbs in the USA and travels down to Mexico to administer same for the needy at no cost. The highlight was seeing the face of a Septuagenarian who had never walked before as he took his first steps.

An unconventional way of touching lives also came to light yesterday in Anne Mahlum who started a running club in Philadelphia USA. This running club is for those without hope – drug addicts, poor people, etc. She started this thinking that by running, they can form a brotherhood with the aim of bringing about a togetherness. The effort is paying off and many are embracing this unconventional method of doing good. This young woman has further convinced me that no good is small at all; what matters is the thought behind it.

The other CNN heroes also have very inspiring stories to tell and I am glad I watched it. I am greatly challenged and will ensure that my purpose of coming to this world is achieved. That any life I can touch will be touched, all my actions will be channeled at giving hope to the hopeless in society without thinking of any gains. I am so happy I watched this with my love – my partner in this race and once again I confirmed that we share similar believes and values. I watched her reactions to those wonderful stories and saw a young woman who will do all to help the needy and make a change in this World. To read more on the CNN heroes – visit

Everyone can make a difference no matter how small it might be. It is a challenge to rise up to the occasion and stop being passive. There are too many people suffering and looking for a break. Too many lives growing in the wrong way. Your contributions don’t necessarily have to be monetary but might just be giving your time, knowledge, advice to shape a life. Why not take this challenge and decide to reshape a life around you.

As I said – we will start a series to help young people understand their purpose in life especially with career, business and life coaching. But many other things will be done starting from this space. As we start the last month of the year 2008 – please reflect on the things you have done to make a better world. Also think of how you can contribute to humanity in the coming year if you have not started before. As the world marks AIDS day – let us remember that the only safe sex is one done God’s way – in marriage and faithfully. The world will be a better place when we decide to obey his commandments.

See you at the top and expect the first series this week.

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