Guest Blog by Sivansh Padhy
A few fellow ambitious students and I had the great opportunity to have breakfast with a man who’s passion encompasses the globe and its people.
When you first see Jonathan Lewis, you certainly can’t tell that the man sporting a large grey beard and a sweater at eight o’clock in the morning is the same man that heads Micro Credit Enterprises, an organization that aims to truly give global equality a shot at success by capturing and providing millions of dollars of micro loans to impoverished communities and to women in particular. In addition, Jonathan, or John as he likes to be called, has produced a web series with successful social entrepreneurs by the name of Cafe Impact and has launched Opportunity Collaboration, a massive social and economic justice conference that takes place in Mexico.
John amidst his passion for social change and entrepreneurship is a man who is surprisingly approachable. I’ve met only a few people who approach wickedly complex global issues, with such a profoundly simple philosophy. He is a person of few mantras. Over a bright and early breakfast, John told us that people should really take a look at what they are good at, and what they sincerely love to do, and to put it simply, focus on doing those things.
Become great at what you love to do, do it often, and your career will follow.
Between bites of his BC Smoked Salmon (he wanted the local experience), John would drop nuggets of wisdom like this. And I feel we would all be wise to listen, simply because John’s spends his life traveling, speaking to new people, and constantly being immersed in his passion for social change, and I feel this lifestyle is something resonates with many ambitious youth in today’s world.
Why should we care? There’s millions of ambitious people in this world and millions more who want to make changes to the world for the better. Many of these people have found success in doing exactly that. So why should we care?
What I took from all this is seeing that strong leaders are not these immutable, hyper-serious figures that only a few people can connect to. They are not steely eyed and rough-browed soldiers. Often times, great leaders are women and men who take their passions extremely seriously all the while treading very lightly when it comes to their ego. I understood this when Jonathan insisted that we call him John, was not afraid of making fun of me or himself, and spent half the conversation expressing his sincere drive to make the world a better place while spending the other half detailing his affinity for hot dogs, and of his search to find the best hot dog in the world.
Breakfast for students is usually grabbing what you can out of the fridge in a mad dash to catch the bus or get to class, hoping to the forces that be that you haven’t forgotten your charger at home. This particular morning however, it was truly a pleasure to learn alongside a man who has found a way to approach life with such passion, and such incredible comfort.