Me to We

Posted by martin.parnell |

Race completed:

  • Powderface42

  • Date: Saturday July 16th 2011
  • Location: Kananaskis, Alberta
  • Temp: 22C
  • Distance: 44.5km (actual)
  • Run Time: 7hr 39min 17sec
  • Average Heart Rate: 107 BPM
  • Total nos of Runners: 57

I've just finished reading "Me to We" by Graig and Marc Kielburger. It was recommended to me by Mary Lou at Bentley Books in Cochrane and it's very powerful. You may remember hearing about Craig. In 1995, when he was 12 years old, Craig, who was born in Thornhill, Ontario, saw a headline in the Toronto Star that read "Battled Child Labour, Boy, 12, Murdered." The accompanying story was about a young Pakistani boy named Iqbal Masih who, at the age of four, was forced into bonded labour in a carpet factory. By the age of 12, he had become an international figurehead for the fight against child labour. He was brutally murdered in 1995 at the age of 12.

Angered by the article, Craig began researching child labour. He took the article to school and, together with some of his friends, founded a group called the "Twelve-Twelve-Year-Olds." This evolved into "Free The Children", an international organization that has 45 countries participating in helping the plight of children around the World.

Section of the book discuss the link between helping others, gratitude and empathy resulting in increased happiness and improved health for the giver. In the book they highlight the impact adults have on children, "When values learned in childhood last a lifetime, it's clear that the world's most powerful people aren't presidents and CEOs. They're the parents and teachers who interact with children every day and shape the values the young will carry with them through to adulthood."

It got me thinking about Marathon Quest 250. People have donated $317,000 so far to help kids they don't even know. Two eight year olds Jillian and Treyton, both from Elizabeth Barrett School in Cochrane, donated their birthday money to allow disadvantaged kids to have a Right To Play program. During the year I ran with over 12,000 kids and time and again they wanted to now how to help and they were very creative with their fundraising ideas. I received emails telling me about the lemonade stands they had set up, the bake sales they'd held and the "Wall of Loonies" they had posted.

The book talked about connecting with your community and getting to know people in your neighbourhood. It said that you could make a difference the next time you walked out the door. So on Monday, as I headed out for my daily run I decided to give it a try. The opportunity arose in the first 100m. Many mornings last year, I had passed a lady in a yellow fleece using hiking poles. Rain or shine she would be walking up and down the path. I'd always say hi, but never stopped. I was too busy doing other things, like looking at my running watch for my heart rate or pace. Today I stopped and introduced myself. She said her name was Florence and she walks six days a week with Sundays off. She asked if I was OK after all the running last year and I said I was.  We said our goodbyes and we both headed off. Now that's Me to We.

Dr Randolph Randolph's book of animal jokes

Q: What's striped and bouncy?
A: A tiger on a pogo stick

Quote of the Day

"We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character."

Henry David Thoreau.

Jillian, age 8, believes in "Me to We"


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