Many of us have at least one individual that completely changed the course of our lives through acts of kindness. Wells Crowther is an amazing example of this. Although I did not know Wells personally, I still get choked up telling the story of what he did and how he lead with selflessness. During the 9/11 attacks, Wells had saved himself and, while he could have kept running down the stairs of the world trade center, he instead ran back into the lobby multiple times, leading people to safety. In the end, he saved about 18 people, and his legacy will shine bright for decades to come.
People like this are what I call “human lighthouses”. They provide light and hope in uncertain times, with their help we can make it on the right path. You’re probably wondering, who are these lighthouses? What do they do that makes them so impactful? On a weekly basis we cover some of these stories of real people making a big impact on their communities to help us find our more common story. Neo Kalungu-Banda
Neo Kalungu-Banda, 19, is a Zambian psychology who recently released his first book called “INSPIRED: the stories within and around us”. This book is based on his own story and talks about inspirational people, events, places, and experiences that shaped him into the motivated man he is today.
The maturity that this young man has is amazing. He believes in the power that writing has and specifically stood out to me, as his thought behind the writing of this book was that “an inspiring moment, story, or person can remain with an individual for decades.” Neo Kalungu-Banda has a goal which is very similar to my own, and that is to change the trajectory of someone’s life through a single story. This young man is motivated, he is able to adapt, and is doing great things for his community. In telling his story, he is actively working to be a lighthouse to others.
Since the age of 11, Melati Wijsen has been passionate about climate change and putting an end to single-use plastics. She saw the increase in pollution in her home of Bali, Indonesia and encouraged her friends to begin learning about how to stop it. Eventually, she founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags and One Island One Voice, which has cleaned up beaches all over the island.
Now 19, she has spoken on world stages, such as TED and the UN, and has been honoured by Forbes, TIME, CNN, and National Geographic.
Wijsen has a big goal, but not an unachievable one, to empower young changemakers to create things of value and impact. Her platform, YOUTHTOPIA, is doing this by providing tools and peep-to-peer contact so that they can learn from each other.
Melati Wisjen started with a smaller goal of cleaning up her island, and has grown to encourage and empower people all over the world. Soraya Fouladi
Soraya Fouladi is the founder and CEO of Jara, an education technology startup. Realizing the importance of technology when it comes to her success, Soraya’s goal is to make sure no one is without it. In 2017, she created a handheld, solar-powered device, for those in need. When asked what motivated her to start this company, Soraya said, “Things weren’t always easy for me when I was a kid. Both of my parents were going through a lot of hardship and were unable to go to work. What made everything easier and what gave me a chance at having a really great life, was being able to go to an amazing school and learning a lot of awesome stuff. I realized, not every kid in tough situations has a great school to go to or the technology to learn awesome stuff. Every child on this planet deserves access to quality education at all times, so they can learn anything and make their dreams come true.” This is leading through empathy. Soraya could have noted the issue and moved on but instead, she decided to do something about it. Do you have a Lighthouse you want to thank?
Human Lighthouses are often humble, steady, and seek no reward. That is why they should be honored that much more. If you have a Lighthouse you want to thank, go to lighthouseeffectcertificate.com and fill in their information. A thank you certificate with a special message of recognition will be sent to them that includes their name, your name, and is signed by The Lighthouse Effect author Steve Pemberton.
Lighthouse Effect Thought of The Week
Anyone and everyone is capable of making a change in people’s lives whether that’s through small things like random acts of kindness, or even something bigger like starting a book drive, helping the planet, or liberating those in need.
The Lighthouse Effect is the idea that any of us - immersed in the hustle and bustle of our lives, wrestling with our own ambitions and imperfections - can pause, and change the arc of the life of another-and find one for ourselves.
See a video about The Lighthouse Effect: