These last weeks have seen some sad times, namely, the passing of Connie ‘Love your Sister’ Johnson. I had a moment’s hesitation then, trying to recall Connie’s last name, because over these past months she has simply been ‘Connie’. You didn’t have to say any more – people knew who you were talking about.
The number of lives she has influenced, inspired and given hope to is huge but the legacy she has left is even greater. The money that ‘Love Your Sister’ raised is invaluable in this fight against cancer. When advancements in treatment and the much hoped for cure is found, it is to people like Connie and Samuel that we can say, thank you.
We all need a hero, someone to look up to. Who will be the next person to inspire us, unite us for a common purpose, make us live the bigger dream?
And what inspires you? Are we all capable of such big acts as Connie and Samuel?
Maybe not, but we can all still play our part in living well and leaving this place better than we found it. All we need is a commitment – a commitment to care for and about others.
This commitment can be as small or as big as you want it to be. It can change depending on the amount of time we have - sometimes more, sometimes less. It can be a commitment that you share with others.
It can be as small as giving a smile, handshake, hug or kind word to someone. It can be joining an organisation that works for the betterment of others. It can be getting involved in local community projects.
I gave a commitment to help women affected by breast cancer when I established Erilan. I live in a rural inland city of approximately 60,000 people, which also draws on a large surrounding rural area. There was no established business in the area helping women after they had had surgery and/or treatment. Women were also travelling from afar to come here for treatment as a Cancer Care Centre had been established. I felt that this was something that I could do so I set about becoming a qualified bra and prosthetic fitter and then finally opening Erilan. This has enabled me to help countless women across Australia and even overseas and in return I receive great pleasure from being able to help.
To some this is a small commitment, to others it is larger. We should be careful not to judge ‘sizes of commitments’ as we are all different and our strengths and talents may lie in different areas. Could we all do what Connie did? Some people are offered the opportunity to make a difference. The big question is, do we accept the offer. Without a doubt Connie and Samuel did.
There are many things that we can take away with us from the journey with Connie and Samuel and they all start with love, the love that we saw them show to the world and the love they showed to each other.
A love that united people of all ages, gender, race, social status and beliefs. People came together with a common goal out of a common love.
A love that can inspire others to do greater things.
A love that drove people to do something to help find a cure, to join “the Village” and help make a difference.
A love that showed caring for others is important.
A love that was selfless, not inward focussed but looking out to others.
Everyone who travelled with Connie should be proud of the part they played in the journey. Just as she inspired us, she no doubt was also inspired by the love given to her. The person who generously gives often receives much in return and I hope that’s what Connie felt.