Neil Pasricha is SOMEBODY who is a new brand of Hero
There are heroes like Terry Fox, who are passionate about a cause that has personally impacted them. After his leg was amputated, and he completed 16 months of chemotherapy, Terry Fox, still a kid, decided he wanted to live his life in a way that would help others find courage. He said he wanted to raise money for cancer research because:
I could not leave (the cancer clinic) knowing these faces and feelings would still exist, even though I would be set free from mine.
Then there are heroes like George Clooney. People who live night-and-day differently from the humans they are helping, by advocating on their behalf. People who can cross a picket line as a planned publicity stunt and draw the world’s attention to the victims of genocide in Darfur. Important to note, however, is the time he spent in Sudan, seeing first hand the humanitarian crises since 2006 – which gives Clooney beyond-Hollywood clout.
But what about Neil Pasricha? He’s a new kind of hero.
Too many catastrophe’s don’t get help until there is a gaping axe wound. This is why there has been so much stigma around mental illness. Human nature is such that we most easily understand things we can see. We say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
But Neil Pasricha has taken an opposite ‘get-in-early’ approach to making a difference in the world.
Through his award winning blog turned books: www.1000awesomethings.com Neil has found a way to bring together millions and millions of people to create a community that appreciates the little things in life that make every day better. Stuff like:
- When your pet notices you’re in a bad mood and comes to see you
- Wearing new socks
- The first shower you take after not showering for a really long time
His words remind us about the value of priceless experiences.
I’m an Anne of Green Gables enthusiast and I won’t apologize for it! One of my many favourite moments is when Diana tells Anne she wishes she was rich and Anne replies:
You know something, Diana? We are rich… Look at that (gestures to the setting sun). You couldn’t enjoy its loveliness more if you had ropes of diamonds.
Neil Pasricha has found something that we all have in common and used it to connect us. His blog posts are beautiful and funny and true. But most of all they make us feel part of something.
He helps us remember how awesome life is and that we’re part of it!
The final awesome thing in Pasricha’s first book is:
Remembering how lucky we are to be here right now.
Neil Pasricha’s message, cleverly disguised as 1000 Awesome Things, actually gives us a 1000 awesome reasons to want to understand who we are.
1000 Awesome Things are 1000 shared experiences that draw invisible lines of unity and link us all together. And unity urges us to use who we are to help others.
Neil Pasricha is an undercover change agent because he doesn’t tell us to make a difference, he shows us why we want to.
He quietly encourages us to become ourselves, so we can stand up and make a difference by doing something we love to do in order to help a living thing we love.
At the back of Who Is NOBODY?’s new book called The SOMEBODY Project I wrote:
What’s getting in the way of your students reaching their potential?
It’s sort of a round about way of saying we need to find out what’s stopping more people from connecting with others to help in personally meaningful ways. We need to peel back another layer and consider the army of people this world has and how we can empower them to be active citizens and make change.
It is so important for us as a society to focus not only on all the organizations and causes that so obviously need our help but to also balance our energy by supporting kids with preventative measures so they can build identity and move forward, rather than spend a lifetime getting caught up in themselves, trying to figure out who they are (and all the dark places this can take them).
These goals aren’t so separate. In fact, they need each other! Giving young people the experience of using their interests to positively impact organizations and causes they are passionate about helps both groups become better.
And this is why 1000 Awesome Things supports all the above.
Each of Neil Pasricha’s ‘awesome things’ helps us realize we are part of everything else going on beyond ourselves. Each awesome thing reminds us we are connected by the common and priceless experiences that have proved (by being a #1 international bestseller for 22 months!) to glue us all together. And this sense of belonging encourages us to find a sense of purpose.
While we have these same experiences we fit in by being different and we can use our differences to make a difference.
And for that, we thank our hidden hero, Neil Pasricha.
So, just before I go I wanted to tell you a story. I was going to submit it to the 1000 Awesome Things Website as there is a page dedicated to sharing anything you notice that is an every day awesome experience. But this awesome thing was a lucky thing, so it’s not really in line with the page’s objective. But it is awesome and so I am going to post it here.
This lucky, awesome thing happened to me last night on St. Patrick’s Day:
Leaving Chapters with a couple copies of The Book of Awesome and then bumping into Neil Pasricha in the candy isle of a store near by! Having him graciously sign both copies, with bubble letters no less, and then tell my friends Nick and Alex they’re awesome in his dedication. Followed by an awesome tip to see a notably awesome movie called Monsieur Lazhar that he had just watched. Thus, confirming his trip down the candy isle was not for contraband. (See 1000 Awesome Things #678)
Please watch the video below to which one person comments: ‘is the shortest 18 minutes of your life’: