7thgrade math classroom. Alone and far from my home in Washington State I was sorely missing my two sons. At that moment I wondered what I had been thinking when registering for the conference a few months prior. I came up short on the answer. My mind began to wander. I didn’t feel like watching television. Going out might have been fun, but I wasn’t brave enough to venture out alone and I didn’t know anyone in the area. Then the thought came to me that in my predicament I was presented with a rare opportunity. The chance to just sit and think. Something I rarely was able to do with all the busy things that needed to be done every day. And so I began. To think. I thought about things that were important to me. Things I’d done that I wished I hadn’t. Oh how my mind wandered. And then I began to think about things I wished I could accomplish. About things I’d never dared to think about accomplishing. One thought in particular was recurrent from earlier in the day. I fixated on it for a while and as I did it grew into an idea.
At first the idea was nebulous. Just a mass of scattered thoughts, pictures, emotions and desires I’d pieced together. What if I could build a website based on the notion of what is good? There is always so much attention drawn to what is bad in the world. I wished I could combat that. What if I could? I thought about what the website would look like. I’d need a logo. I’d need subject matter. And all of a sudden the idea that had brought a whimsical feeling to me just moments before overwhelmed me with self-doubt. As soon as the thought was released into my active consciousness it was like an active force was trying to squelch it. I felt smothered. How could I ahccomplish something like that? Who in the world would even give a care about anything I had to say? I wasn’t savvy enough to pull something like that off. The self-doubt kept coming. I gave in and put the idea away in the far reaches of my mind. But it had struck a chord in my heart. I would be revisiting it.
Over time my nebulous idea never went away. Every time I’d be brave enough to venture a peak back into that far corners of my mind where I’d stashed it away, I’d feed it. Like a famished animal, it would devour anything I threw its way. Curiosity. Wonder. Even negativity. And like anything that is fed, it began to grow. But because it was undefined, due to my fear of
failure and self-doubt, it only enhaled what I fed it giving nothing in return. It grew in strength and in existence, but it was miserably out of focus.
In 2007 my career changed from teaching middle school math to 7th graders, to pharmaceutical sales. I had a large territory and sometimes, when I’d be traveling a long stretch of highway I'd have the luxory of thinking on my idea again. As time progressed it became easier for me to revisit those far reaches of my mind. During those long stretches, I'd feed it some more. Eventually I slowed down the process of visiting and feeding. My curiosity was more directed. Self-doubt was gradually put away. This was just an idea after all. No fear in that. Soon the idea evolved into more of a living puzzle made up of fragmented thoughts pleading to be put together. As soon as I’d see a thought that made sense I’d put it into place, creating order. The more order I created, the closer the idea came into focus. After a while I began to see a more refined picture.
The end of 2008 brought on a corporate layoff, and with it, one of the most interesting jobs I could’ve ever had. Teaching various classes to male felons in a state correctional institution. It was this job that would subsequently seal the thought that I had to pursue my idea. I had to solidify it and make it real. 2010 I hired on with another pharmaceutical company. Each transition, each phase of my life has brought opportunity after opportunity to refine my idea, grow my skills and talents and made me more determined to follow my dream.
Why am I going on about the beginnings to the idea I am now putting into motion? The answer to that is simple. I want to be clear that my life is incredibly ordinary. I struggle with feelings of doubt and discouragement like everyone else. But I’ve come to realize every day that I’m more than I thought I was the day before. We all are. Our capacity for good is far beyond what we often allow ourselves to see.
I’m not under the notion that by building this website I will single-handedly bring about world peace, or solve world hunger or rid the world of any number of other scourges. Though you wouldn’t hear me complaining if that were the result. I’m not naive to the fact that there is often ugliness and chaos in the world. But I’ve come to understand that the idea clear back in 2006 in that empty Phoenix hotel room was more than just a passing moment of boredom. It was the unveiling of part of me that would someday need to be born.
And so I introduce World4Good. As you see it, it’s in its infancy. There are components that are still out of focus. But I’ve learned that’s all part of the process.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know some of the most fascinating people. I love hearing other people’s stories and looking inside their hearts to try and figure out just how they overcame hardship. Almost everyone I’ve ever spoken to has a story of triumph to share. Most people don’t see it as triumph. They see it as living. But that’s just because they’re too busy getting done what needs to get done to focus on how they’ve overcome difficulty. But in truth, people who’ve overcome hardship and survived the fires of tragedy, defeat and discouragement are fascinating to me. These people have managed to make beauty where before there had only been ashes. I am compelled to share their stories.
Peace and blessings,