I went on a trip to the Dominican Republic at the beginning of the summer as part of my internship. Overall, it was a fantastic experience, and I loved learning more about the heart and mission of Healing Waters International.
As a bonus of the trip, we went out on a pier our last day in the country to catch some ocean views and spend time together as a team. While we were there, a group of guys with cameras came out on the pier and started taking pictures. They looked like professional photographers, and we were confused but soon pieced together the fact that someone famous was probably on the pier with us.
Sure enough, one of my favorite bands was there. Needless to say, I could hardly contain my excitement, and I spent the next hour trying to figure out how I could meet them and get a picture with them.
After the excitement wore off, I started thinking about the concept of fame. The same day, we had met a pastor named Julio. Through work he was doing, he had helped bring a water store to his community, he created employment opportunities for women through a bakery he then opened, he provided vocational training for community members who wanted to seek an education, and he helped bring electricity to the entire community. Honestly, he was one of the most inspiring people I had ever met. Yet, his story has never been told. No one knows his name or particularly cares because the effects of his work aren’t tangible in our communities or lives.
This band I met on the pier: they make music. Don’t get me wrong. . .expressing yourself through art is a beautiful thing. Music can shape the way we feel or the way we think. But, I think it is important to use a platform you have been given to help others as an artist. This band I got to meet is not vocal about humanitarian efforts, their Instagram is full of pictures of themselves, and they weren’t very nice when I asked to snap a picture with them.
Perhaps our idea of fame is skewed. Pastor Julio is literally changing people’s lives and helping liberate others from poverty, shame, and brokenness. He deserves to be revered, but he doesn’t demand it. His work is incredible, but he is humble. He is leading the charge in changing his community, but he gives his church members and ultimately God the credit. Truly, he is the epitome of selflessness.
In a world that is so crazy, and messy, and broken, it’s time we give voice and awareness to those who are seeking positive change. It’s time we rethink the concept of fame. I think we would all walk through life a bit more inspired if we followed the lives and stories of people like Pastor Julio and tried to emulate the work people like him are doing. When we learn to celebrate good, I think we all become a bit more inclined to do good ourselves. Let’s continue to fight for a better world and help empower leaders in the developing world. Will you donate today to help men and women like Pastor Julio continue to do good work?