Yesterday I promised I would spend this whole week writing about people who make a difference because they have decided to do what they can wherever they are with whatever they have. I'm calling them "role models" for the rest of us and they represent a range of individuals who are at different places in their lives, but they are all showing us how it's done.
I'm starting off with Deonte Bridges, a young man who graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, Georgia, last May. During the commencement exercises, Deonte gave the address captured in the YouTube video above.
So often, we feel as if the obstacles we face as individuals and as a society are just too massive to overcome. Sometimes we get tired of trying to rise above whatever is pushing us down. Shaking our heads in frustration, we're quick to say "somebody ought to do something," adding "and as soon as I..." (fill in the blank here), "I'm gonna step up and..." (fill in this blank, too).
But that's not how it works. Life happens. And we don't get to wait. We're presented with an evolution of realities on a daily basis. We don't have to kill every dragon. We don't have to win every battle. We don't have to bankroll an army. We just have to do the next right thing as we go along. If we're honest with ourselves, we know in our gut what the next right thing is. And if you're not sure, take a couple of minutes and listen to what Deonte Bridges -- our 2011 Role Model #1 -- has to say.