Do you ever wonder if you can make a difference in this world? Do you think it needs to be a big project, or a simple smile? Either one can make a world of difference, even if it is to ONE person. A smile, a hug, a shoulder to cry on, two ears to listen, a hand – – all of this can brighten someone’s day.
And then, there are those who undertake BIG projects. Yesterday I met a group of individuals who collectively have raised awareness of the strength, ability, determination and focus of those who live in a world that is not easily accessible to them.
Today, on the Camino de Santiago a young man is turning heads as he and his team ride through Spain on a specially made bike. Pietro, a 34 year old paraplegic is an amazing example of someone who is taking life by storm. I had the pleasure of his company and I learned a wee bit about his life and projects.
His biggest wish is to one day, see the world as an accessible place for all people. He is on his second Camino and he is surrounded by supportive people who love and admire him. This Camino he is making with his father Bart, and two friends, Manolo and Andrea. Spending time with the four of them really allowed me to see how cohesive they are.
Pietro speaks to many groups as well as conducts many interviews during his treks. He is a gentle person who is quick in acknowledging everyone he sees. He speaks many languages and works in the information technology field when he is not traversing entire countries.
People like Pietro are many; just look around and seek those who are fighting for justice, for equality, for freedom of speech, for kindness, for humanitarian causes and such. But not all of us can or choose to be as visible yet we all can make a difference in the world.
I know that I have been touched by Pietro and his group and I feel very privileged to have spent an evening with them. I am to connect with them again when they arrive in Santiago in a few days and I look forward to celebrating the completion of another of their project.
And I will remember that no matter how small the gesture may be, how short the encounter may be, how fleeting the connection may be, we all impact one another every single day. It is our choosing to make the impact a positive one, a goal I will strive to always keep in mind.
Cheers from the Camino