This morning I sat in a very crowded university hall listening to the convocation comments of Colin Beavan aka No Impact Man. His role was to inspire and launch the new freshman into the new year, all of whom had read his book as part of the summer reading program.
My fantasy was to actually meet him, talk with him, be in his greenness and perhaps snap a photo – just us.
He was unfortunately scooped up and away as part of his responsibilities at the university.
His fall speaking circuit is a follow up not only to IWU’s freshman, but to 30,000 kids who read his book this past summer!
Thankfully I did have access to his comments today and his classic, what I will affectionately call befuddledness, of which he pulls off really really well.
I am a no impact man fan. I admit this. If you steep yourself in any of his work you will feel a loyalty to him. It isn’t hard to do.
He’s thoughtful, engaging, funny, inspirational and adorably befuddled!
To me befuddled means he’s sort of brilliant and confused at the same time.
Why did this person come into my world?
In the beginning, he opened my eyes to those who were doing green like things
and using blogging as a platform to include others in the journey.
He was way out loud about his exploration, his frustrations and his discoveries. All brilliantly documented thanks to his blog.
Past that I was really taken how someone seemingly so humble could take on fame and often fame that was criticized and be so gracious about it all. This is what has me continue to follow his journey.
I think he stated it best when he asked how do we work, earn a living passionately and have impact on the world we live in? At first his project was about learning to live without impact on the environment. However his year of living sustainably and all the thoughts he had along the way truly will have a lasting impact in a world that wants and needs to change.
I can’t say in my youth that I had access to anyone who inspired my path. My life path that is. I was motivated by small minded things like boys and problems at home and escaping them. My friend recently shared of his influences as a child. I thought my goodness who the heck influenced me? I can’t actually say. I can say that motherhood fostered a strength of character in me I had no idea of. AND I can honestly say that in that path of being a mom, I became a person who wanted to help. Help in the community, help others feel well, educate according to my particular sensibilities; cooking from scratch, eating local and organic, taking one’s vitamins and cleaning green!!
I took a course long ago that centered around circles of influence and having a lasting impact in those circles of influence. At the time I had no idea what my ability was to leave a lasting impression. I had no idea who I was, let alone how powerful an impact I might have!! Turns out I had more influence than I knew!
This morning Colin asked these freshman to wonder why are they on this planet? He spoke of choices, of thinking less of oneself and of how life or even world emergencies need to be resolved together. A simple, but very powerful message. I admire his work with our youth, our future really. These are the minds that are taking care of what might be next for all of us!!
How nice it was to be with you, your thoughts and your message Colin!