You are you because of others


Nikki Myers, 30 Hour Famine team

_L102234This last week I had the opportunity to hear Archbishop Desmond Tutu speak about leadership. Each sentence was a sound bite of humility, leadership, love and challenge. Beyond being an absolute inspiration and so full of wisdom, he has the sweetest, most contagious laugh you can imagine (no really, look it up ☺). I couldn’t take notes fast enough. He spoke on the idea of living a life that is beyond you. A life where you live at your best so that others can as well. His idea was this… a person is a person through other persons. You are you because of others. We copy the best attributes of others to be the best version of ourselves.

This isn’t a totally new idea, but for some reason when put this simply it felt different and it has made me think about my own life. I think about the people that helped develop who I am today- my passions, my interests, my spirit. They were people that I admired and watched, liking who they were as people and attempting to copy those attributes for myself.

Part of who I am today is because of people across the world from me. Children that I have shared a game of soccer with, blown bubbles and sang songs with, even the kids I attempted to awkwardly dance in front of. Children that had an inexplicable joy that I wanted to replicate. Children that knew nothing of greed, road rage, and accumulation. But they did know a lot about hunger, about sacrifice, about caring for others. They knew about the faithfulness of the Lord and the value of hard work. These children, who I will likely never see again, helped shape/form/create me. I am me, because of them.

I think about how much this relates to your role as leaders to young people, and in particular to the 30 Hour Famine. I am going to venture to say that these children have helped shape you and your students too. The children that we aim to serve through doing the 30 Hour Famine have a way of speaking into who we are. Their plight helps us be more generous, more aware, passionate about injustice, and obedient followers of Christ as we care for the poor and oppressed. I was at a Famine event last weekend and through those 30 hours with the students I saw the best of them come out. As they thought of these children and heard their stories, they realized that these children were also created in the image of God their hearts were broken. They grew in compassion, in grace, in the drive to do more. You are you because of others.

As you move on to summer activities and put your Famine folder away for the next 9 months or so please remember those that we serve. The attributes that they reflect that you want to copy; who they make you. If you haven’t already, remember to send in your funds because they mean so much to the lives of children and families around the world. Because just as you are you because of others…others are themselves because of you.