So many times, not only was I ashamed of my life but I actively tried to get myself killed. Any risk I took face first. I did this because of the short falls of my life. I wasn’t living up to the potential I knew I could achieve and that we all can achieve. I wanted to be the one to lean on. I wanted to be the honorable big brother to my fellow men and women who would was willing to sacrifice, protect, inspire and provide for them. For eight years I have tried to achieve this goal by showing all those around me how grateful I am to have them in my life and give something back. To lend support, to listen, to help build their dreams as they did for me.
Many years ago someone told me to focus on me. To look out and take care of me because I wasn’t in a good place. And that this person needed to do the same. But they were wrong. Looking out for yourself will only get you so far. That will make you average. Those who want to help everyone. Who are willing to shoulder the burden we change the world. We inspire. Because we do what is hard, what is illogical, what is painful. We run towards danger to help others. We don’t run away to protect ourselves. That is what I wanted to achieve and falling short was killing me. But I kept trying. I kept working on my dream. I knew that my invention wouldn’t only help the planet. It had the potential to change the way we think. Not only can we now remove microplastics from the water but that idea started with a half drunk dreamer at the country club of virginia. I walked out of there a failure. I looked my friends in the eyes and knew we were headed back to the same shit hole we lived in. We were headed back to our average lives of life, rent, and death. I walked back in and made a contact that started all of this for them. I’m not trying to change the physical world that is secondary. I want to change the hearts of the people in it. I want my story to be one of someone who came from the shitiest apartment in richmond. Someone who should have never been invited to the country club of virginia. Someone who had been abandoned, marginalized, and banished from his home by what was left of his family. Someone filled with shame, failure, pain and hate. If I could achieve this then all of you could see that I am not special. We all are special. We all dream and feel love in our hearts. All that is stopping us is that we are thinking about ourselves. We are consumed by the fear. We need to build a better world of the heart. Inspire the ones we love. We all need to love one another.
Tonight is the first night I go to sleep proud of my life because of a phone call I got today. My big sister. The successful responsible one of the family called me the black sheep today to thank me for inspiring her. She had a dream to change some hospital protocols that would protect patients and doctors. She had a dream to help others and asked for my help and inspiration. She said you have achieved so much and made so many positive changes in your life I wanted to better myself and the world around me too. She worked on her policy for a year. She was doubted, ignored, and marginalized just like I was in the beginning. I told her to stay with it. Fight. Keep hope alive. Fight for your dream. It is worth it. You can help these people if you don’t give up. You are right and it is a good idea. We need this and you are capable of shouldering the burden to get us there. You are strong enough to achieve this dream and win the hard fight ahead. You have the courage to have patience and the perseverance because this will be hard, this will take years. I have complete faith in my big sister as she did in her little brother.
Today she was nominated for a nightingale award because of her new policy. The head of her hospital was so proud of my big sister he nominated her because she fought to change the world for other people. My big sister was inspired to fight because of the little brother who fought for her. My big sister was recognize for her achievement, courage, and heart. And when the battle was won she called her little black sheep brother and said thanks for inspiring me.
My inventions are in major circles. You will see them soon. We can clean the water. We can reduce coal emissions by 93%. We can generate electricity in new ways. And I am just getting started. But what I am proud of most is the reinvention of myself. Taking the pieces of my shattered life and making a beautiful inspiring mosaic of love, dreams, invention and determination.
I got here because I fought for others. I got here because I dreamed. You can too. I know it.