For the last six months, students from Flagler College Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) have been coming to Hastings. They first came to build the pie shop into a mega bakery. I had to be the one to dash those ideas. I don’t want to be a baker I had to say, I just want to help people. But these young people, they were not deterred. They kept coming up with ideas, they kept showing up at events, they even baked pie! They built a new website, they designed new brochures, and they kept coming back to Hastings. They never gave up, and then they began to spread their compassion and ideas around Hastings. They built a wheelchair ramp and planted flowers for Mrs. Raggins, they encouraged Ray to begin his speaking career, they helped out at the library and youth offender center. Those kids in the red shirts were everywhere, and they were always smiling, always encouraging and always bringing new thoughts and new energy to the pie shop and the town.
The young people of SIFE have inspired me. They have filled me with hope, knowing that there is another generation coming up behind me that cares about the world they live in and the people who live in it with them, and that world may be as far removed from St. Augustine as Hastings is, but their compassion spans the miles and fills the distance with the little things that add up. Watching these young people see what a difference they can have in the lives of others has been a gift for me. No one has to rescue someone from a burning building, jump in front of a moving train, or stop a bank robbery to be a hero. All it takes is being responsive to the needs of others day by day and knowing how one small action can create a reaction that can change someone’s life or change the world!
Margaret Mead said it best, “Never doubt that a small group of committed individuals can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Flagler SIFE, my slice of inspiration.