Dear Mr. Brown, It is with the utmost sincerity that I write to you on this particular moment. You have been that one source of encouragement in my life that has never changed. You have been a mentor and a teacher in very many ways. I write to you to offer my gratitude and to say thank you for all the brilliant information you share that has impacted my world.
Ever since my first encounter with you my life has not been the same from the lessons and motivation that you have influenced through every day living. You have taught me that man is what he makes of himself: that where I fit in this world is where I choose to be. The current situation I find myself in is the situation of my own choice. If not pleasing, then I am the one to fix it because no external forces have the power to define for me my life. It is this particular point that made me wake up, look around myself and decide on what my life presents to me. This has improved my perspective of things to where now I understand that I am the one to decide exactly where I fit in. You taught me that we all make decisions consciously or sub-consciously.
The only variable that does not change is the fact that we are the ones to decide. We have that power in our hands and in our minds. We, the people, can be able to achieve our goals by a simple decision. This has been a powerful message to myself.
I have not achieved all I want to achieve but I know and understand that with time and the application of my own power to decide, I will achieve all my goals. I wake up earlier than I used to before, I am more productive at work because I now realize that even the promotion I so much desire will come to me if I want it to; not because I think that I deserve it. It will come to me by deciding that it will come to me. This message has made me look around my environment from the friends I keep to how much I contribute to the environment. We all have one ultimate goal: to leave this place better than we found it. Through your lessons, I have been able to launch an initiative in my community where every weekend, with the collaboration of the local government, I get to plant five trees in some of the deforested areas in the community.
This has been able to develop into a community activity where everybody now plants trees on each weekend. Children too participate in this activity. As we speak, the community has planted over a hundred thousand trees from the launch of the program. This all comes from the lesson you taught me on decision. It satisfies my heart being able to contribute and give back to the community in such a manner. You have greatness within you.
This is one of your mantras that I consider my favorite. Greatness, as you teach, is not something out of this world or something that cannot be achieved by everyone. It lies within all of us.
Those who practice it are those who experience it. It is a difficult task to manage that’s why only few people are great. Your teachings have been able to help me overcome the fear of trying or failing because failing is a part of succeeding. There cannot be one without the other and there cannot be either without taking the first step: action. When I was starting the tree planting initiative, I have to be sincere, I was terrified. I had never done anything like that ever before. Even as I went through the local government offices to ask for permits to undertake this venture, I was terrified to the core. But you taught me that I might never know what lies on the other side if I never get there.
The proposal, to my surprise, was welcomed with open arms from the local government. They even chipped in in providing seedlings to be planted. I went in there looking for permits but I came out with unlimited supply of the resources I needed. Usually, the permits take from a month to be processed but mine only took two weeks, which were presented to me by a respected official in the office. The local government thanked me for taking this initiative, as it would benefit the whole community.
They also offered to provide all the important nutrients the trees would require to ensure proper growth. This is when I realized that I have the power to shape the world from within. This initiative has been able to involve more people and in a couple of years, we all will be able to yield the benefits of what we planted. Your teachings were the ones that taught me that a single action goes a long way. When it comes to business, most people get paralyzed from starting due to fear. You have mentioned numerous teachings on the importance of venturing into business without fear. Even if the business fails, the lessons remain.
That way, using a sharp mind, one may benefit even from failure. This tree-planting venture will turn into a business while harvesting the trees. Proper care and handling is to be maintained, as the main purpose of the activity is to encourage a balanced and well-preserved ecosystem. However, the trees will be harvested once mature. These trees will be sold by the non-profit organization and its return will be used to get more books for the children in the community, build a community library and buy more seedlings to be planted.
It is vital for me to achieve these goals since there are no libraries available for students in school around my neighborhood. Also, the resources and materials they use are limited. Some schools lack some critical studying materials, which affect the students’ grades immensely. I feel that these social and environmental matters need utmost attention if we all aspire to move forward as a unit. Your teachings have been able to help me understand that I am the only one who can bring the change that I would want to see in the world. That I am the only one bearing a particular impact because no one else can become me. You challenged me once with the narrative about the graveyard.
About how the richest place on earth is the graveyard: that at the graveyard is where we will find unlived lives, unturned stones, unachieved goals, and dreams that were never turned into realities. I want to live all mine while I still can. The initiative will have a tremendous impact on the general community in a wonderful way. Mr. Brown, the different manners in which you have impacted my life are limitless.
I cannot comprehend how I would be in the position I am in right now if it were not by your lessons. They have changed my life and the life of those around me. Just like you said, “Love is like spraying some perfume on yourself. You will never lack a few drops falling on the person beside you.” You are a living inspiration to this generation. You have done so much in nurturing the minds of those willing to pay attention.
I sincerely thank you for all your efforts and teachings.