For the most part, my reality growing up was continually difficult punctuated by life threatening exercises in survival. I remember the shock as a child the first time I saw someone who looked like an apple doll from a bear mauling - 365 stitches in his face alone. He recovered and went back to living.
There was little companionship in remote areas so I read and my celebrities were from the pages of biographies. Sidebar: gratitude to my father who hauled a library of classics, Great Books, encyclopedias and vinyl music along each time we moved.
My models and exemplars are the change makers who didn’t realize at the time they were constructing history. Golda Meir, Mohandas Ghandi, Abraham Lincoln, Clara Barton, Jane Addams, Harriet Tubman and so many more. Contemporary heroes Martin Luther King, Storm Large, Maya Angelou and Einstein. Flawed humans making the world a better place. I have the advantage of seeing their contributions in the context of a lifetime. These examples, more times than I can count, are the reason I get up to try and live life authentically one more time.
What if your story is the one who will inspire us to pick ourselves up? What if your music will lift our hearts? What if your art will galvanize the political course of the next decade? Do the work. One word, one note, one brushstroke at a time and the world is changed for the better because of your effort.