Thursday, July 22, 2010


Niah caves batik painting - “They see only their own shadows or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave

Are you too young or too old, too incapacitated or too disadvantaged to make a difference?

Let me tell you about Mattie Stepanek, who will be fourteen this year. Mattie has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Three of his siblings have died of the disease. His mother is also afflicted. Mattie breathes through a tube in his neck and needs a wheelchair to get around.

Mattie was asked a few years ago what he might wish for. He named three things. He said he wanted to meet Oprah Winfrey, he wanted to meet President Jimmy Carter, and he wanted to publish a book of his poetry. (Mattie had been writing poetry since he was three.)

His wishes were all granted. He not only met Oprah, but also has appeared on her show. He visited with President Jimmy Carter and spoke with him about one of Mattie's favorite topics - world peace. After talking to Carter, Mattie said that he thought he was on the right track. He also had a book of his poetry published in 2000, when he was only eleven! By January of 2001, it had soared to the top of the New York Times best-seller list!

"Prayer for a Journey" was written when Mattie was just eight.

Thank You, God,
Not just for life,
But for our journey through life.
Life is a miracle,
And a journey through life
Is so full of so many more miracles
If we travel with our Heartsongs.
Thank You, God,
For blessing me with the
Gift of Heartsongs,
So that I can enjoy my miracles.
April 1998

From "Journey Through Heartsongs" (Hyperion Books, 2001)

If you were to ask Mattie what his purpose in life is he would answer, "My life mission is to spread peace to the world." But isn't fourteen too young to spread peace to the world? Isn't it too young to make a real difference?

G. W. F. Hegel said, "Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion." Maybe it's not about age, or physical health or any of the things we usually associate with people who are changing their own worlds and making a difference. If Hegel is right - it's about passion. And passion is something Mattie Stepanek has plenty of!

From Lifesupport.

Lifesigns Life Quotes

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