Making a Difference….

Living in the Tropics; life and leadership lessons explored

When Mike and I first re-located to Bermuda, a trip into town on our scooter was an adventure that we both looked forward to. Upon approaching the gateway into the city we were often greeted by a man on the side of the road waving frantically with both arms and calling out “Have a nice day!” and “I love you!”. He had a big floppy hat and a full white beard, and wore an ear-to-ear grin. Who was this? Some lunatic with nothing better to do?

Suddenly on one excursion into town we noticed a life-sized statue on our left, of a man  waving…. Could these be connected? We got curious and started asking our friends and neighbors about the history behind a story that has turned out to be one of Bermuda’s most famous stories of genuineness and gratitude.

Johnny BarnesThe man’s name is Johnny Barnes, and far from being an aimless wanderer, he is a man who lives to selflessly give to others. As commuters are driving in to work, Johnny is there to welcome them to town and start their day off with a smile and positivity. He shows up at 3:45am and stays until 10:00am, every workday, rain or shine. He has done this continuously, since 1986, when he was already 60 years old!

We all have it within us to give of ourselves, or “pay it forward” with no expectation of reward. It can be something as small as holding a door for someone, as large as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg donating 2/3 of his salary to charity every year, or as puzzling and beautiful as Johnny Barnes showing up every morning to spread the love to his fellow islanders.

Check out this video and notice how acts of kindness; big or small can make a difference.

A new year is upon us. As you reflect on 2012, some questions you may choose to reflect on might be…

  • Am I leading my life by example?
  • Am I walking my talk?
  • How can I make a difference?

Remember, who you are being will determine your experience.

Circle of Life

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