Read an amazing story just yesterday about a young man named Craig Kielburger. Back in 1995, when Craig was only twelve, he saw a newspaper headline that read “Battled child labour, boy, 12 murdered”. The story was about a young Pakistani boy named Iqbal Masih who was forced into bonded labout at the age of four and who was brutally murdered at twelve. Iqbal had fought against child labour and became an international figurehead.
What I can’t get past is the fact that Craig started this at the age of twelve. While most kids his age were running around in the yard, fighting with friends and getting up to all manner of mischief, Craig was out on a mission. He is 25 now, travels extensively giving speeches and lectures, rounding up support and he’s also gone on to found another organisation called Me to We, a social enterprise to encourage a more ethical kind of living, a focus on we instead of me. He is a syndicated columnist and New York Times bestselling author who has written five books. His is a busy fulfilling life, I can only imagine.
What struck me the most when I read the article about Craig was a statement made by a psychology professor (sorry cant remember the name) about Craig. This professor said that, most people think these thoughts. But the difference with Craig, is that he went out and did something about it. And that is absolutely right.
All of us at some point or other come across a situation or circumstance, something we’ve read, seen or discussed and we feel strongly about doing something. We ponder, talk excitedly about it and then time passes and nothing happens. Then there are people out there, who get into these same situations where they read, hear or discuss something they feel strongly about. They talk about plans and then… they go out and they make it happen. What makes them different from you and me? What separates them?
Thinking good thoughts, having well-meaning intentions are very good. It’s noble to be on the path of good. But that is not enough. The thinking needs to be followed through by action. In that sense, is there any difference then between the guy out there who never does anything noble and can’t care to and the guy who is well-meaning and thinks often of doing good yet doesn’t get around to doing anything?
Whether you’re talking about noble action or just about any other kind of action, you need to execute. You need action preceded by a well thought plan. You need the mental process to get to that point and a decision to do so. And most importantly, you need to be driven by something. Or nothing comes to fruition.