No One Left Out (NOLO).

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A movie that deals with big issues and reminds us all that You and I CAN make a difference…           We are that powerful!

A couple of days ago, I was at the library down the street and while perusing the DVD aisle, I came across a title that grabbed my attention. It was called “To Save A Life.”

The Premise of the Movie: Jake is the most popular kid in school and has a promising future, but his world is rocked when tragedy strikes his childhood best friend. Now Jake is forced to ask, “Could I have saved him?” With help from a few new friends, he embarks on a journey to live a life of purpose, knocking down the sacred social barriers of high school life and befriending a loner, Jonny Garcia. But when Johnny’s life spirals out of control, will Jake have what it takes to stop him from the same tragic end? Can one person really make a difference?

How many of us have battled and struggle with feelings of self-worth? (My hand is lifted just in case you didn’t know). How many of us question our ability to make a (positive) difference in the life or lives of others? How many of us can identify with being left out, feeling alone, and thinking that no one understands us? How many of us have faced moments in which we feel like we are invisible and long for someone, anyone to see us and hear us. If you’ve never felt this way, consider yourself extremely blessed. For the rest of us, myself included, it is not something we wish for anyone to go through. (If you are feeling dejected, rejected and alone, there is hope here)

There is a saying that “everyone has a story.” Well, how often do we make the time and effort to get to know someones (whether it is a fellow student, co-worker, your next door neighbour, or even someone in your own family) story before judging, ridiculing, criticizing, condemning, and outcasting them? I am by no means perfect. I will be the first to admit that there have been seasons in my life in which you would think I was a professional judge. I may not have always spoke them out loud but that doesn’t mean that I didn’t think them. The funny thing is, those who are doing the judging and those who are being judged share something in common: we don’t believe that we matter. How many of us (have at some point or another) live life and behave in such a way that we underestimate the fact that our body language, the words we speak, and the way we treat people matters? The truth is, they can leave others feeling empowered and encouraged or dejected and discouraged. (This applies to people of ALL ages, even you “wise old folks”). YOU MATTER and it is up to each of us to remind others that they matter too! (p.s. your smile makes a difference:))

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And so with this in mind, I want to introduce and invite you to join me in a new movement: NO ONE LEFT OUT (NOLO). In the UK, No On Left Out is the name of a strategy in place to reduce the number of people sleeping on the streets (homelessness). The NOLO I’m inviting you to be a part of is in some sense a fight against homelessness…the homelessness and poverty of feeling unwanted, unloved, misunderstood, worthless, and invisible. This is not about you going out to save the world (unless that is what you feel called to do). Rather, it is an invite to remember the value that each of us possess inside. We are each a piece in a magnificent puzzle. Without one piece, the puzzle is incomplete. This is an invite to recognize the hunger within each one of us (whether we are dressed in Gucci or garbage bags) to be loved, acknowledged, and appreciated AND is a call to action to be on the look out for opportunities to nourish the hungry. How? As Mother Teresa once said, By “doing little things with great love.”  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a post dedicated to these Game Changers, which hopefully will inspire you to take action or come up with your unique ways to do what you can to ensure that No One (is) Left Out.

Hellen Keller

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