I have a new hero. He’s very smart, funny, an exemplary role model, creative and cute to boot. He’s also 10 years old. Yes, Ben Weymiller is my kind of guy.
Few people do things that are so outrageous, so bodacious, so ridiculously huge that it makes me stop, catch my breath and wonder if I, too, can have that kind of impact on the world. That’s what happened when I learned how Ben changed the world.
It seems Ben had a big problem with the lack of rocking chairs Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital has available for families to rock their sick children. The situation truly concerned him—Ben knows the true value of a great snuggle when you’re not feeling well. So the fifth grader decided to do something about it. He started with his own allowance of $45.00 and things kinda got crazy from there.
Next thing you know, Ben’s doing a Rock-A-Thon and he’s got his own fundraising website. This led to his appearance at a fundraising auction at the hospital where he gave a whole lot of people reason to believe in him and his cause. Then the media caught wind of it and told his story, and the major TV networks covered him too.
What happened? Ben Weymiller has, to date, raised $82,826!!! I said ‘ridiculously huge’, right?
So this is what happens when an adult takes a child seriously. This is what happens when said child was taught the real value of love, commitment, curiosity and vision. This is what happens when we don’t know we have limitations, when we dare to think big and when others support us in our nonsensical, out of the box behavior.
This is what happens when a community gets behind someone with a gorgeous idea, a kind heart and a benevolent soul. This is what happens when we teach our little people that they have personal power, that their voice is heard and that their actions make a difference. This is what happens when you and I pay attention.
I, for one, am sleeping better because Ben Weymiller is in my world.