This hometown of hers was filled to the brim with poverty. Even so, through the dust that clouded the trail before us, 6-year-old Fabianca quietly gazed ahead with eyes that said, “I am not defined by my current circumstances. I am a dreamer. I will not leave this earth without first showing it that I am brave, significant, and purposeful. This village will feel the weight of my footprint, and I will not go unheard.”
My little friend from Haiti is more than a tiny girl with small thoughts and easy dreams. As I watched her smile illuminate the seemingly hopeless world she resides, it became increasingly obvious to me that Fabianca is bound to become a world-changer. She won’t be the type who sinks into a bland society and conforms to the bystander mentality by which so many are crippled. Instead, she will step beyond the confines of the ordinary and season her community and the world beyond it with brightness, joy, and confidence. She’ll be a salt-shaker—the type of girl who doesn’t allow others to be drowned out by shortcomings and mediocrity. She will walk with purpose, constantly sprinkling her creativity, zeal, and hopefulness amidst an otherwise extremely dull world.
I continued on with my time in Pignon, Haiti with a heavy thought gripping my heart:
If we focused more of our energy around emphasizing the strength and beauty in each human being rather than destructively wallowing in their weaknesses and deficiencies, our world would be much more flavorful and full.
It was as if spending an evening wrapping my fingers around the hands of these girls who might have otherwise never been taught that their dreams and passions are not only valid, but extraordinary, allowed me to see how infinitely necessary it is that we build communities filled with those who not only comprehend their capacity to impact the world, but also act on that inherent ability.
It quickly became my dream to see a world filled to the brim with salt-shakers.
In other words, a society built by those who seek to enliven and rejuvenate the worn out and broken corners of this world.
In a culture so firmly held by unrelenting fists of “can’ts”, it becomes necessary that each creative, trail-blazing woman steps forward to adequately prepare her tribe to build societies founded on change. When we, as innovative women, focus our goals around teaching those around us to utilize their strengths rather than disqualifying others with their inadequacies, we will begin to witness a globe filled with salt-shakers rather than bystanders. Here are some practical ways to embolden those around you and effectively build a tribe of world changers.
Regularly host workshops designed to help your fellow movers and shakers take hold of their strengths.
When people set aside time to affirm one another in their abilities, a sense of belonging is firmly established. This allows each member to clearly understand their significance within your tribe.
Build from a common conviction.
Change in society becomes inevitable when several strong, driven women band together and discover a common vision. Have you ever left your house for a casual coffee gathering and quickly found yourself in the midst of a conversation bubbling over with new dreams and excitement? When we allow common ground between dreamers take root, lives are undoubtedly impacted.
Do your dreams.
I constantly find myself stuck in the phase between dreaming and doing. Staying in that dry place for too long can be dangerously crippling when it comes to achieving your desired results. So draw up a timeline, brainstorm action plans, experiment with new initiatives – just remain active. Do not allow yourself to get stuck in the mud pit that is an unchased dream.
Find ways to remind the members in your circle of the potential you see in them.
Notes, smiles, the gift of service, and meaningful conversations are just a few small ways you can empower others daily. Well-loved people become carriers of hope and newness for others facing various types of injustice.
Expand your tribe by educating others about your cause.
Once you’ve established a tight-knit group of creative people who desire change–network! Seek new audiences who will willingly jump on board with you to advocate for those without voices. Reawaken the passion from which your idea first grew so you might evoke urgency within the hearts and minds of your listeners. If you are able to establish new roots for your cause to blossom from, justice and change will be closer than you ever imagined possible.
When we, as innovative women, focus our goals around teaching those around us to utilize their strengths rather than disqualifying others with their inadequacies, we will begin to witness a globe filled with salt-shakers rather than bystanders.
Now, ladies, let us assemble large quantities of world changers rather than allowing ourselves to become crippled by distant dreams of justice and change. Let us go forth and empower, embolden, and advocate. Our creativity and willingness to help our circle find value and individuality will truly allow societies of impact to bloom. And we’ll keep showing up and being where our feet are until the world lights up with something new and infinitely beautiful.
Photos by Kelsey Lemons