If you haven't heard the story of Myron Rolle I hope you read on.
Myron was an elite athlete coming out of high school, a five star recruit and the best DB in the country (many rating systems had him as a top 5 recruit if not the #1 recruit in his class).
A prep school star with a 4.0 GPA and a football lineage (yes, related to Samari Rolle), he signed with Florida State and at that point dropped off my radar.
Until recently, when I heard that he, yep, had graduated from college in 2.5 years and was BYPASSING THE NFL DRAFT (he was honorable mention all american last year) because he got a little thing called the Rhodes Scholarship.
I truly, truly hope this young man (scary when people are younger than me) reaches his dreams.
Study at Oxford. Kick butt for a few years in the NFL. Graduate from Med School. Become a neurosurgeon. Go back to his roots in the Bahamas and change the world.
I hope that in a few years we have thousands of kids running around in Myron Rolle jerseys.
Sitting at LAX, pushing 7 hours, waiting for a new plane after my plane conveniently decided to stop having a break system. I suppose that's important.
In the 8 different locations I've been in (in search of Starbucks Chai, the shoe shine guy, and power outlets), I've somehow dealt with a lot of people. Some life lessons:
DON'T treat the guys in suits different than the folks in sweatpants. You never know who you're talking to.
DON'T be late, it will make you stressed out (Jason Castro from American Idol was not having a fun time in his sprint through security).
DO: Develop rapport even in tough situations that have a 1 minute shelf life: the very stressed counter attendant made a lady smile when she said El Salvador (the travelers home) was a beautiful place.
DO: Make friends. The shoeshine guy in terminal 4 rocks. Tip him well.
DON'T take up 3 seats next to a power outlet with your bags when you aren't using a power outlet. When space is limited only occupy the space you need.
DO: Smile often and easily, even if it's not necessarily a 'smiling' moment.
DO: Laugh at your predicament with others in the same one...makes everything a little easier.
DO: Thank God for Wifi (even if it costs $5.99).
DON'T: Make travelers pay for their own food when you make them sit in a bloody airport terminal for 7 hours. PEOPLE NEED TO EAT DINNER, especially when your lack of airplane made them cancel plans with a very attractive date.
At NothingButNets (.net) $20 buys a net to cover a family's home in Africa..coated in insectiside and effectively prevent Malaria (moreso the bugs carrying it), one of the leading killers of children in Africa. Full service, including shipping. Takes care of a family of four. Awesome.
I like the 'no brainer charities.' It's one thing to give money. It's another thing to buy a net that saves children's lives.
Note to other companies raising money to save the world: Make it tangible, make the story simple. Then get Rick Reilly to write about it.
Any Sports Illustrated (or now ESPN) reader knows who Rick Reilly is. My favorite sports author, he brought NothingButNets to the mainstream (it's a United Nations Foundation Charity) a few years ago with his article urging anybody who'd spent anytime using nets as a form of entertainment to purchase a net as a form of survival.
Now, they've raised distributed over 23 million bed nets and are working to cover the entire continent. Check them out at http://www.nothingbutnets.net
A few different companies. I found the differences interesting:
Nike: "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. If you have a body, you are an athlete."
Adidas: The adidas Group strives to be the global leader in the sporting
goods industry with sports brands built on a passion for sports and a
Version #2: Our mission is to become the best sports brand in the
world. To that end, we will never equate quantity with quality. Our
founder Adi Dassler was passionate about sports. For Adi, the athlete
came first. He gave those on the field, the court and the track the
unexpected and the little differences that made them more comfortable
and improved performance. This is our legacy. This is what the brand
stands for. This will never change."
Under Armour (in all caps):
TO MAKE ALL ATHLETES BETTER THROUGH PASSION, SCIENCE AND THE RELENTLESS PURSUIT OF INNOVATION
Reebok: Reebok's mission is to always challenge and lead through creativity. At
Reebok, we see the world a little differently and throughout our
history have made our mark when we’ve had the courage to challenge
convention. Reebok creates products and marketing programs that reflect
the brand’s unlimited creative potential.
Puma: PUMA has the long-term mission of becoming the most desirable Sportlifestyle company. Asics: ASICS, an acronym derived from the Latin phrase, Anima Sana In Corpore
Sano - a sound mind in a sound body. Staying true to the philosophy by
which it was founded, every ASICS innovation, every concept, every idea
is intended to create the best product. Our mission is to become the
number one brand for the sports enthusiast. To accomplish this, we
pledge to continue to make the best product; striving to build upon our
technological advances and pushing the limits on what we can learn from
the body and its needs in athletic gear. We pledge to bring harmony to
the body and soul.
Now that Athleon has some money in the bank...meaning I can afford to buy lunch every now and then...the 'you're blessed and you can afford to help others' voice in the back of my head has started speaking again.
Some small number of people give to a non-church charity every year (5 some odd % I believe), and, outside of my church givings I can actually REMEMBER every single time I've been charitable with anything but change.
That fact, combined with my increasing love of entrepreneurship, has lead me to seek out amazing charitable organizations to give a small amount of money (very small really) out of every paycheck to. Most of us who are building a business are doing it for some combination of fame or wealth...yet a lot of really, really cool entrepreneurs are starting something with no real option for wealth involved.
So, over the next however long, every paycheck (our payroll is done bi-monthly) I'll let you know which really cool charity is getting the small piece of my hard earned cash. It's the same amount every month and as of now I'm not planning on doubling down....I realize that giving a bigger sum to one charity may be more beneficial, but I'm seeking out cool charities in quantity.
If you have a group I simply MUST donate to let me know in the comments below. Otherwise, go change the world however you see fit.
There are absolutely no rules to this simply organizations that do something good for somebody else (and hopefully tell me exactly where my money is going...transparency is a very good idea). They may help starving children in Africa, or people 2 feet way in Seattle. No rules. I want to find orgs who are as passionate about what they do as I am about what I do....and maybe help a fellow human being or two in the process.
(P.S. While it doesn't really count, my first bit o cash went to the candidate I supported in the November election. It AMAZES me how much money Mr. McCain and Mr. Obama spent on advertising against each other...perhaps giving to the guy outside my local starbucks today would have been a better use of my money).
Yep, I'm a 20 something who voted. Coffee's on Starbucks for me today.
This is the most exciting, and disappointing, election cycle I've ever followed (granted, I'm young).
I love John McCain the man. If I had a top ten list of people to met he'd be on it. I don't care if you don't want him to be president, you have to respect the guy. If not, get Faith of My Fathers on Netflix. Though it may not turn out to be...at the time, I thought Sarah Palin was a brilliant pick, and I loved the risk factor.
The John McCain campaign, however, has been making me quite angry.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, the man, is amazingly engaging and inspirational. He's exciting, personable, and has speech traits that I've found myself emulating when I give presentations. His running mate, Joe Biden, I find quite funny (in a good way) and was my favorite of the democratic candidates early in the cycle.
The Obama campaign, however, has been making me quite angry.
But, such is politics. Now, I don't understand why you wouldn't vote, and I think it's at the core of what we are as Americans.
However, if you don't want to vote....don't. If you don't care, don't vote. If you have something better to do, don't vote. It's a free country, and you have every right to vote, to not vote, to get your nails done, or to watch football instead. If you don't care enough to vote, me trying to force you is not going to spark something inside of you. I don't know how you can not care enough to not vote....but if you don't care, fine, don't vote.
You have every right to do whatever you want with your time. Vote, don't vote, write in Mickey Mouse (who apparently gets thousands of votes every year). I chose to vote. Make up your own decision. Me yelling at you to vote probably won't make you wait in line. Me yelling at you for not getting an absentee ballot 2 months ago (it's so easy), doesn't matter right now.
Just stop complaining. If you don't vote, you forfeit the right to complain.
There are a lot of free web services and I use a very small hand full of them. I also run one of those free services and am truly thankful for every individual using my service.
Craigslist, a free service with so many users they probably should care less if I use it...tells me they really appreciate it every time I post something there. Just like the lady selling corn at the street fair.
How often do YOU tell your users/customers that you really appreciate them?