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Ubuntu

Like everyone who wants to change the world, sometimes I have doubts. I question why I’m doing what I’m doing, and the way in which I’m doing it. I ask is it worth it and will anything ever be different. It’s exhausting, shall I just stop? Today had been one of those days.

Thankfully due to the power of random coincidence, I often don’t doubt for long. And I am eternally grateful for this. Take for example, this evening.

My friend Breifne Early posted on facebook earlier that he was in the recording studio ‘laying down’ a track. He sent me a copy of the song he was recording – I loved it. Boy can sing. I felt a bit stunned. And in awe. For Breifne is not your normal man. He started Challenge Ten in an attempt to turn his life around a few years ago. He wanted to lose weight, meet a girl, travel the world, change jobs, and much more. And he’s done it. And is doing it. He has carved out a career in sport radio, goes on a date a week, is dropping pounds and crowd funding to help him cycle the world while raising awareness of suicide, talking to groups he meets along the way and letting them know ‘It’s ok not to feel ok’. Plus he coaches youth football. And supports the greatest team around (Norwich City FC for those of you wondering).

I was inspired by the fact Breifne was embarking on something else he obviously wanted to do. And fitting so much in to the short time we have. It made me think that I should do a monthly post about people that inspire me. Starting with Breifne. I’d do it straight after I ate my dinner. Great idea.

While I ate dinner, I watched a Ted talk – Boyd Varty What I learned from Mandela . Spend a 14 minute coffee (or dinner)
break watching this. It’s great. In it, Boyd talks about Ubuntu – an African saying “I am, because of you”. He talks about how we must be aware of our interrelatedness and the influence we have on each other and how the magic that comes when we do this, will help us live the way that is right.

It then got me thinking back to Breifne. And the ‘People that inspire me’ monthly post idea. And I instantly dismissed it. For I am not inspired by people just once a month, and I don’t have a top person every 30 days that I want to highlight. Working for a charity puts me in a privileged position of being able to be inspired every day by people – in my case, people living with multiple sclerosis. To see people living with, caring for, campaigning on behalf of, raising awareness in aid of and supporting people affected by MS, helps remind me that it is worth trying to create change. Plus I look around all the time, for people that I am amazed by.

And if you’re open to other people, and recognise we’re all interrelated (Ubuntu), it will help you stay on the right path. Here in one evening, I’d been inspired by two people within the space of 60 minutes. Because I needed to be – and coincidence put them in front of me.

And so the vow has changed. I’ll now write about people that inspire me, as and when they do, in the hope they may inspire you too. Inspire you to keep going, to keep believing and to keep trying to make it happen – whatever that is, fundraising, campaigning, raising awareness, creating change, To me, the people that inspire us are the ‘you’ in Ubuntu – they may vary day to day, they may contradict each other or they may have been there for a long time without you realising. But if you open up and let them inspire you, they make you who you are. So do it now.

And share with me who inspires you – tweet me @inhollyskitchen and spread the word!

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