Lately, many people have been asking what keeps us motivated to help as many children as we can, especially when we encounter set-backs or challenges in doing so.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to come up with a tangible answer. My immediate reaction has always been to attempt to explain the look on the children’s faces at Red Cloud Indian School in Pine Ridge, South Dakota when we handed the first 250 to elementary children there.
I quickly realized that explaining such an experience was nearly impossible. Words always seem so inadequate in describing their smiles that reached each ear or the way their step seemed to have an extra bounce during recess that day.
“Live simply. Laugh often. Love generously.”
On the surface, these fragmented sentences appear sparse, at most, in their significance. However, these phrases, displayed prominently on the wall, are a sort of reminder that not everything has to be complicated. By enjoying the smallest moments, we can reach thousands, even millions of people. The snapshot above represents just that: in the moment that photo was taken, we were laughing with children who were content to give us “bunny ears” and sit on the floor with us. We left them with the promise that we would never forget them, and they have truly gained their own place in our hearts.
Our message has been spreading farther each day, and we’ve had an incredible response from the public to our mission. Recently, a blogger in Michigan wrote an entry in her blog about Be A Number and spread the word through her Twitter account. Within moments, other users re-tweeted the blog entry and we received an email from a young man in Arkansas expressing his affinity for Be A Number.
Combining the experiences we’ve enjoyed while passing out shirts to children here in the United States (and soon abroad!) and the amazing response we’ve received from people just like you, it becomes more difficult to imagine being unmotivated. Our goal is not to live lavishly ourselves, but to help others live more comfortably themselves.
How do we find motivation? We simply look at the world surrounding us and to the people we admire most. With any luck, we’ll be able to inspire others to change the world in their own way, starting with one number.