I will go ahead and say it. I’m a Millennial. Just barely. I’m on the older side of this generation, but don’t identify with all its traits. One thing you can say about Millennials is they want to change the world. And they won’t settle for small change. The bigger the better.
I identify with the desire to change the world. I’m always creating big ideas to solve big problems. I convince myself these ideas and solutions will bring about massive change.
We Like our change Fast & BIG
Generally Millennials want to address problems in our world with big ideas, expecting big results…and fast. And you need to be the public face of this idea so everyone knows you are amazing. Plus, make sure you do it before you are thirty.
The truth is, this way of operating leads to many of us jumping from idea to idea. As soon as it becomes apparent we won’t become an overnight success, then it’s time to move on to the next idea.
Reality quickly sets in when you realize it takes a lot more time, effort and sacrifice than you anticipated. And if you are honest – your big idea maybe isn’t the one the world really needs.
If you look at major figures of change that have gone before us you find a startling truth. None of them started with a big idea.
They didn’t have a master plan that was going to change the world. They just saw a problem in front of them that stirred their hearts and they did something about it.
Mother T & Father G
Mother Teresa started the Missionaries of Charity in 1950, but it wasn’t until two years later she found her true call. She found a half dead woman lying in trash and took care of her. This experience led her to open a small home where people could come to die in dignity. From this small start, she created a worldwide movement of people reaching out to the poorest among us.
In the late 1980’s, Father Gregory Boyle was a pastor in an area with the highest concentration of gangs in LA. He found himself burying so many young people from gang violence that he couldn’t sit idle any longer. Father Greg built relationships with gang members and invested in their lives. He opened a small school where they could get educated and helped them find jobs. In 1992 when LA went up in flames, his neighborhood was calm. Some influential people recognized something different was happening here and helped Father Greg build Homeboy Industries.
Neither Mother Teresa or Father Greg had any idea what might happen when they stepped out in faith. Both endured great setbacks and great pain on their journeys but they persisted and never waned.
My story… I hope, is just beginning.
Over the years I’ve had many big ideas that went nowhere. But a year ago God began working on me and opened my heart up to the incarcerated. I began learning, reading and soaking up information. I read stories of brothers and sisters rebuilding their lives after incarceration and I became hooked. It kept gnawing at me.
If I’m honest, I’ve thought about some big ideas but I’m trying something new on for a change. I’m starting slow.
About six months ago I started a pen pal relationship with a few guys in prison. I have been consistent with my letters, so I’m taking the next step and starting a podcast. I’m starting slow by just producing two podcasts a month where I interview someone who is working on prison reform, prison ministry or justice reform. This helps increase my learning, builds a network of relationships and maybe I will inspire a few people along the way.
That’s where I’m at right now. I definitely have big dreams of job training and mentoring programs and engaging in prison ministry, but for now I’m trying to stay focused on where I’m at today and how can I respond to the next opportunity.
And maybe, just maybe… if I can stay the course, I will find myself a part of something much larger and important than myself. And who knows, I just might play a part in changing the world.
Oh man. I feel like I just got some of the best feedback of my life. Dang. Thanks Nick.
It was a pleasure having you on the blog today! We look forward to checking in down the line and seeing what’s next.
Nick Arnold is a Video Producer and Host of the Podcast Redemptive Revolution: Restoring Hope to the Formerly Incarcerated. You can subscribe at Redemptive Revolution.