Let’s start with a few quick questions today: Do you know the name of every Kardashian? Are you seriously invested in a Fantasy sports team? Or maybe, does the highlight of your week revolve around those handy folks on HGTV? Okay… right about now, you’ve GOT to wonder what in the world all these things have in common! Hang in there with me. Every last one of these “diversions” involve WATCHING someone else’s ACTIONS!
If we’ve heard it once, we’ve all heard it hundreds – if not thousands – of times: “Actions speak louder than words!” And too often, we focus our energies on the actions of OTHERS. We’ve become too content to merely watch the adventures of those Kardashians, those pro athletes or those who transform their environment. Sadly, our society has slowly evolved into a collective of spectators. We watch OTHERS travel. We watch OTHERS live out their dreams. We watch OTHERS change the world!
Dream It? DO It!
How often do you see someone do something and think, “Hmmm… I might enjoy that!” or “I could do THAT!” Honestly, we’ve ALL been there. But the only difference between those folks you watch, and YOU, is simply a burning desire to do MORE with their life! It doesn’t take piles of money or million-dollar talent. It just takes an indomitable spirit and vision… and the willingness to take SOME sort of action!
And, a classic example of this drive and determination lived in the soul of a sweet woman in Santa Pancha, Nicaragua – Candida. Recently, we talked about leaving a lasting legacy for future generations… and Candida embodied this concept in her life EVERY day. She fought tirelessly for her friends and neighbors in Santa Pancha’s “Triangle Of Death” and never wavered in her vision for a healthier, safer, happier existence. So, with sorrowful hearts, we said “Goodbye” to Candida this month, as heaven gained another angel.
We could eulogize her lasting contributions, but our Founder Dani Johnson does it soooo much better:
“My beloved friends and coworkers… it is my great regret, peace and little excitement to let you know this woman WHO MASSIVELY changed my life, nearly three years ago, has been PROMOTED to her highest promotion. She has left this world with the GREATEST of legacies, as she is now with her Father in Heaven! Candida, an EXTREMELY POOR woman FOUGHT for those more poor than herself! She rallied for 281 families to be brought out of plastic and into stable homes. She lived to see the homes, a new computer center and medical center COMPLETED!! She witnessed her prayers being answered and children running through the NEW STREETS. She witnessed the dignity of her people being able to experience bathrooms and bedrooms for their families… places to cook and come out of the outrageously hot sun!
“Candida is ROYALTY!!! Generations have been FOREVER CHANGED because of her hard work, dedication and prayer. Our God heard her cry and brought ALL of US to rescue a people who were UNKNOWN and VOICELESS!! He caused US..you and me…to hear the CRY OF THE POOR and WE RESPONDED with dignity and SPEED!! Candida changed our lives forever…..she and her people changed ours!!!”
The Efforts Of Just ONE Person Can Have Make A Difference!
This woman had NOTHING! Yet, she managed to influence the lives of hundreds (or even, thousands), armed only with her faith and a desire to see lasting, sustainable CHANGE happen in her corner of the world. It makes me question my own laundry list of excuses of “why” I can’t have an impact – including that tried-and-true “But, I’m just ONE person!” C’mon… if Candida can do it, ANYONE can make a difference. Looking at her circumstances, her shortage of resources, her lack of an advanced education, truthfully, what possible excuse could I have?!
So, while I may not be – or ever be – a Candida, I will do what I can to enact REAL change in this world. And, thanks to her inspiration, my daily actions do make a difference in HER own “earthly” village, Santa Pancha… and can now only hope Candida smiles down on us, from her heavenly MANSION! But we have not finished our work here. While she celebrated the first 1000 homes’ completion, and saw many life-changing advances come to Nicaragua, she continued to champion the needs of others at every opportunity. She wasn’t WATCHING others, she was DOING FOR others!
Will YOUR Actions Be Celebrated?
Can you imagine leaving such a powerful legacy?! Almost daily, we hear about some notable celebrity or public figure passing away. And, surely on those sad days when a Kardashian or Super Bowl champ or talk show host or performer dies, every media outlet will feature wall-to-wall tributes, memories and eulogies. As a former news journalist, I can tell you, we had LOTS of pre-written obituaries for notable people on file. We kept these ready to go, with just current updates added. And at one point, this caused me to write my own obit.
So, over the years, I’ve continue to use this as a personal barometer of my own progress, goals and accomplishments. It’s an interesting exercise… and I encourage you to give it a try today! It’s not about fancy words or sadness – make it a celebration of your life, your actions. And, the coolest thing of all? If you don’t like it, you still have time to CHANGE it! Candida may have departed from our earthly presence, but her actions still have POWER for change in Santa Pancha.
What Is YOUR Fruit?
“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?” (Matthew 7:16) Your ACTIONS resonate longest and loudest, when all is said and done. It may be the actions of a loving parent – with a legacy of children, grandchildren and even great-grandchildren. Or it could be actions of a business mogul – providing for hundreds or thousands of families. And, of course, it might be a charitable legacy like Candida, and many more before her, have left! So as you contemplate what YOUR actions say about you, follow the progress of the work Candida started and so many “I’m just ONE person” people – just like you – have helped to continue, on our social media networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. And remember, you have the POWER to write your own name into the history of OTHERS!