Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Be That Somebody Part 1: Hearing the stories

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This is the first in a series of articles titled Be That Somebody. Many of us wait for somebody else in this world to show up to fix the problems that we see. But wouldnt it be better if we chose to be that somebody? All we need to do is to decide and then to begin. I hope this series help you make that choice.

From time to time, I hear the story about someone doing something incredible that makes me stop and think.

Incredible carries a vast array of meaning. Climbing Mt. Everest is incredible. Running a marathon in just over 2 hours is incredible. Starting a website that hundred of millions use such as Facebook is incredible.

But these stories catch my attention for only a minute or two and then I move on. I think “wow,” but then I’m done.

There are a few stories that I hear that really make me stop and think, though. And after stopping long enough and thinking long enough, I come to one conclusion.

We need more people like that in this world.

photo by Stephan Geyer (Creative Commons)

Somebody Else

Have you ever seen the Family Circle comic strip about “Not Me?”

The idea is that anytime the parents ask one of the children who did something, the kids always respond with “Not Me.” Especially if it is something the kids might get in trouble for.

  • Who spilled grape juice on the new couch? Not Me.
  • Who walked through the house with muddy feet? Not Me.
  • Who let the dog in the house? Not Me.
  • Who forgot to flush the toilet? Not Me.
  • Who forgot to replace the toilet paper. Not Me.
  • Who forgot to put the milk back in the refrigerator? Not Me.

In the comic, their is a “ghost” kid that is running around causing all of these problems. And his name is “Not Me.”

We laugh, especially those of us who are parents, because it is true. Not just for kids, but also for the rest of us. As adults, we have changed the name of this mysterious trouble maker from “Not Me” to “Somebody Else.”

Who Will?

The world is full of need. The orphaned. The hungry. The widowed. The homeless. The trafficked. The abused. The unloved.

Sometimes we see it. Most of the time we don’t.

We have learned to ignore the need. We don’t hear the cries of the hungry. We don’t see the empty cups of the homeless. We miss the evidence of abuse.

We have given ourselves the opportunity to look the other direction and become distracted with everything else in our lives.

Occasionally we are confronted with the reality of these needs so intensely that we have to stop and answer one question.

Who will take care of this? Who is going to intervene? Who is going to be the person who says this must stop and then start to make a difference?

Unfortunately, most of the time we answer the question by saying “Somebody Else.”

Occasionally an individual steps up and decides to become that somebody.

The Stories

Hearing the stories of the somebodies of this world is the first place to begin.

I hear about guys like Bob Goff who are going to places in the world where children are being trafficked and imprisoned and abused. Bob goes and gets the kids out. He puts the people who belong there in prison. He starts a school in a part of Uganda that everyone has given up on. He is that somebody.

I hear about someone like Katie Davis who went to Uganda not knowing exactly what she would do, but went with a heart full of love. She kept saying yes to the needs of others until she adopted 13 kids of her own and provides food, clothing, and school supplies to over 1200 more. She is that somebody.

I read about a woman like Mother Teresa who took a vow of poverty so that she could become like those that she sought to minister to. Despite being given millions of dollars, she owned nothing herself, and became a world wide symbol of providing care for the poor. She was that somebody.

I hear a story about Polly Hansen who is dealing with breast cancer for the third time, working 18-20 hour days preparing for a medical malpractice case, and starting chemotherapy all at the same time. She is an encouragement to everyone around her helping us to keep our faith in God. She is that somebody.

I read stories about men like Dr. Dan Galat who walked away from a lucrative orthopedic surgery practice here in the United States so that he could provide care to the people of Kenya choosing to live on support funds instead. He is that somebody.

I hear stories about Bethany Kennedy who decided to us her own home as a clothes distribution center to meet the needs of those less fortunate in her own backyard. She is that somebody.

These are the ones clothing the naked. These are the ones feeding the hungry. These are the ones visiting those in prison. These are the ones taking care of the widow and the orphan.

And these are just a few of the somebodies out there.

Be That Somebody Step 1

Today’s assignment is easy. Just read a few of the stories. It doesn’t have to be these, but read something. Let them soak in.

I want you to see what happens when someone chooses to become “Somebody Else.”

Share the story of someone who is being that somebody.

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

 

About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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20 Replies

  1. Great post (as always). I want to be somebody who does something!

    Katie

  2. It’s incredibly difficult to get to your comment section, Jeremy! Anyway, I’m here now.

    I’m one of those people who needs help. Where do I go? Yes, I help other people. But I need someone to help me clean my small apt., to help me get it organized, to help me cook, to drive me places on occasion. I have PSC (Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis) and my liver is getting less and less functional. So I’m very fatigued and I can’t just normal things done that would make my life better. Where do I go? Asking for help is really really hard. I wrote to family members recently and asked them to call me weekly. One person called. One. Out of seven. If you have any ideas, please let me know. Thanks. I love that people go to Kenya, Uganda, all over the world to help others. But their neighbors, for God’s sake, need help, too. A little bit – of dust mopping my floor weekly, cooking me a meal and inviting me over, taking time to chat in person – would go a long way. I don’t live in Kenya, Uganda, India, or anyplace exotic. I live in Denver, Colorado. Thanks for any ideas you might have. I go to church, but I really need a ride there and back.

  3. Mary Beth

    I want to be that somebody

  4. I am soaking in Katie’s story… 

  5. Dana, I’m really sorry. You are right that there is need everywhere. One of the stories I included was someone who is doing something in their own city for those who are needy. I’m sorry that family didn’t step up to help. That is always sad, but unfortunately far too common. Perhaps their is another way to find help in your city. You mentioned church, maybe you can find some great friends there. Maybe an assisted living situation could help. Keep asking God to send you the help you need.

  6. This should be an interesting story, I hope it becomes something people can act on and not just think about.

    A buddy of mine started a non profit called http://www.h4ad.com/ because of a similar call to action

  7. Beyond amazing. Unable to wrap  my mind around it. Reading her personal blog and catching a glimpse of her days has me wondering if she’s a young woman or an angel? :) But she’s clear that she’s not super-anything…just obedient to God. Super amazing. 

    Again asking myself, what on earth am i doing? Just challenged to be more – more obedient, follow hard after his call for my life. That’s what makes the difference.

    Thank you so much for sharing these stories.

    I am also amazed at the Galats family story. 

    currently living away from home (kenya, EA), I guess i have a new view –  bird eye-view – seeing things from a fresh, deeper perspective and observing the sacrifices made by others to reach my own. So easy to learn to cope, do your  best yet still become a little anesthetized  to some things when they’ve been around you all your life. 

  8. Have you read Katie’s book, Kisses from Katie?

  9. No I haven’t. 

    I am now checking it out on Amazon.

  10. Awesome post! The fact is that we can all be incredible…we just have to be willing. Great reminder!

  11. Mike Zserdin

    We’re all created to be that somebody…to do powerful, world changing works. Thanks for the encouragement to step forward and make it happen Jeremy!

  12. I agree, Mike. Albeit in different ways, we can have that kind of purpose for ourselves.

  13. Thanks for sharing our story Tyler!

  14. Wow… Looking forward to reading the rest of this series! I think this idea of “being that somebody” is what drove me to become a youth pastor 5 years ago. Though that season is over, the ripple effects are still making waves.

  15. Where have the ripple effects taken you?

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