Find a Soapbox and Stand There

Douglas - Columbus, Ohio
Entered on November 23, 2008
Age Group: 30 - 50

There is power in the actions and belief of one man or one woman. The history of the world is full of individuals making a difference because they found their passion — their soapbox — and stood there.

I found my soapbox ten years ago while on a missions trip to Kiev, Ukraine. Friends and I spent a day with some homeless, orphaned boys. We played. We talked through a translator. I told them about myself and learned about their individual situations although they seemed more curious about the candy I brought.

The next day while walking to an orphanage I heard someone calling my name. Looking behind me I first saw the bridge we had just passed under. Then I saw the boys from the day before. They slept under the bridge all night. I had uncovered my soapbox. I had to make a difference.

A year and a half later I adopted my son, Richard. I was adopted by my parents and my heart went out to all the boys in America who are considred unadoptable because they’re over age eight. My soapbox had begun to take shape.

Two years ago I started a nonprofit agency, Orphan World Relief, to make a difference in the lives of orphans worldwide. It’s my soapbox and I stand on it daily, hourly and by the minute.

Looking around, I realized that there were others like me — all with soapboxes to stand on. In college I remember watching a Sunday morning program with Dr. Robert Schuller. I admit watching it more out of curiosity because he had no upper lip. But something he said stuck with me. “Just don’t sit there. Do something.”

It’s true. Everyone has a soapbox. Everyone has something that just gets under their skins because it’s so wrong that they must make a difference. But few do.

Yet I cannot help but think, what if everyone stood on their soapbox?