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Ordinary People Can Change Lives, Just Like St. Patrick.
Posted By Leigh Anne Tuohy On March 13, 2012 @ 8:00 am In Volunteering | Comments Disabled
Sean Albro Tuohy is the man I sleep with every night. Well most nights. Oh, get your mind out of the gutter. He’s my one and only. His younger brother is Seamus Timothy Tuohy. There was a baby brother who died shortly after birth; his name was Patrick Padare Tuohy. Not withstanding, that being said, obviously this family has serious Irish roots. My husband could have actually played basketball on the Irish National Olympic basketball team. I informed him that was a box we were NOT going to check when we got married.
March 17th we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Well some people do anyway, many of us will at least wear green that day. In our younger days, we used it as an excuse to make merriment, or at least I did. Before I started sleeping with the afore mentioned man, I don’t even think I really knew anything about, nor did I care about St. Patrick’s Day. It still is not high on my priority list, but as I was reading about the celebration, I found the history of the day interesting. What do you know about it? Well, let me give you a brief run down.
It is celebrated each year during Lent; if you are not familiar with that, then Google it. Saint Patrick was a real deal person who lived in the fifth century. He was credited with bringing Christianity to the Irish people. St. Patrick was brought to Ireland as a slave when he was 16 years old. Many various myths have been passed down over the years involving the Saint, but the most well known is his explanation of the Holy Trinity using the three leaf clover better known as the Shamrock! Just think, he was your average 16 year old, an unknown, and before he could blink his eyes he became a household name – and Walmart and Target make a bundle of money from the tradition created by this 16-year-old lad.
Isn’t it amazing the people who are plucked out of ordinary lives and are used to do extraordinary things? People who are down and out are used to spread a message, used to inspire and give hope, used to instill courage. They are used to change not only one life at a time, but they are used to change lives, in many instances for years and years to come. Look at Saint Patrick; this was a 16 year old who was kidnapped, sold as a slave, and brought Christianity to a country.
My family is another example of the ordinary being used to spread a message. My father was a police officer, and Sean’s father was a school teacher. We are just like you. Yet our life was for some reason, was plucked up and used to spread a message that we hope will continue to inspire for years to come. What about Jeremy Lin? Have you heard his name mentioned recently? This young man was thought of as an average at best basketball player. He played at Harvard. Yes, you heard me correct…Harvard. He wasn’t on the debate team; well, maybe he was; he was on the basketball team. You would never associate Harvard with a basketball powerhouse super star. He did not get drafted; in fact, he was cut by 3 or 4 NBA teams before he landed with the NY Knicks. The truth is, if the Knicks had not had injuries on their team, he would have continued to ride the pine! Yet he is now a household name…it’s being called LINsanity! He is on the covers of numerous magazines; he is on late night talk shows; he is all that and more, and he was just another average Joe. He was just like you and me. He gets up; he goes to work; he pays his taxes and from what I have read and heard is just an all around good guy. Yet he is now inspiring people and changing lives.
I could fill pages with stories of people who are everyday ordinary folks just like you and me. They don’t think they can make a difference. They continue to believe they are not worthy enough to be useful. The American culture would lead you to believe that the guy who likes to work alone, only makes small talk, the quiet type isn’t the one who is going to change the world. We are trained to think it’s the quarterback of the football team and the captain of the cheerleaders who will soar and be the ones to lead the pack for change. WRONG WRONG WRONG….you do not have to be The President of the United States, or the Mayor or the Head Coach or the Chief Executive Officer or any big cheese. You just have to be you.
Ordinary, everyday, typical, normal people are the ones who can make a difference and their lives are the ones that are being used to move the needle. They are the ones who like to take a step back from all the noise. So many of us are afraid of failure. We are so afraid of negative feedback, humiliation and making some mistake that we have zero interaction and nothing gets done. I think the pressure by society of doing the right thing and doing it correctly keeps many from reaching out a helping hand. We worry about being criticized for doing the right thing. We need to stop holding back. It would surprise you what you are capable of doing. It’s not always easy. My family is now called upon to visit the child who has months to live or try to find help for the family sleeping under the bridge.
So yes, it sometimes becomes uncomfortable, but many people are at a point of no return, and we have the ability to offer them options. How long has it been since you did that for someone? We did it as kids all the time; why do we stop as adults? I think we are all better than we give ourselves credit. You know my family believes that quitters never win so don’t give up on yourself. Don’t wait for someone to ask you to open the door for him. Open it for yourself and see what is on the other side, because the story of your life might just be the story to change someone else’s life, just like St Patrick’s! And don’t forget to wear green; it might keep someone from pinching you!!
Photo credit by: cobalt123 
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @LeighAnneTuohy  and play #TuohyTrivia on Tuesdays for a chance to win a $25 donation to the charity of your choice for answering the question correctly. Learn more about my family’s charity at The Making It Happen Foundation .
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