Those Who Inspired Me 29: Matt Ellingson
Written by Tanur Badgley(PoP's Creator & Host)
My interview with Matt Ellingson is such a treasure. He brings a wealth of wisdom, experience, and knowledge in such an area that is directly related to purpose.
I love how he talks about purpose, being more about the HOW rather than the WHAT.
He has this concept of being average and how he is striving to become one because he is filling a gap.
He doesn't intend to be the hero.
He thinks that we need to move away from this idea that we're the hero. We are just filling a gap between what's not there right now and what could be thriving, and how we do that is essential. We should be helping our neighbor, we should be a good Samaritan, and we should be cherishing the opportunities of the moment, right in front of us.
I love this beautiful story he tells about a surgeon from a US top-rated school, moving to Mozambique and setting aside all of that to help people with hand-washing and sanitation. It's that kind of crucial decision that allows us to do something that isn't heroic, like helping people to wash their hands, but it's what fills the gap for people to be able to thrive.
I also admire how he talks about the importance of self-awareness.
Matt points out the importance of following where your heart takes you rather than making up these notions of just being open to seeing what's on your path. If you're self-aware, you'll be able to operate in a way that's most purposeful and impactful for you.
I respect how Matt truly understands and brings attention to the idea of borders dividing people.
He's working with people, groups that have been displaced from their countries because they have been considered illegal. There are now refugees are living in a densely populated camp with minimal supplies, and he finds ways to meet the needs and to help them thrive.
I think it extends so far for what society is facing right now with political parties and Western versus Eastern ways of thinking and so forth. We need to get rid of these borders thinking and start seeing people as people, regardless of how much attention they're getting in the news or not.
They're in a situation where their plight is not where it could be. The refugees' quality of life is not to the standard that a lot of the world gets to live. He positions himself and his NGO in a place that can serve what's needed to thrive in these communities.
I think he's working at such a beautiful forefront of what a model society can be.
If there's a lot of extremely average people, as he calls it, filling in the gaps, we're going to have a lot better harmonious world that is serving people where divisions between the haves and have nots, those that are in poverty and those that are fully thriving and wealthy does not exist.
The value Matt places on dignity to see people for who they are and to be able to feel that fulfillment of helping people without needing to receive the accolade is admirable.
I'm going to look for what he calls the invisible ways of doing that in our every day. This interview was impactful on me because it just shows you how many times there are opportunities right in front of you, right alongside you. You don't have to wait for this big grand vision that you're the hero in a lot of years from now. You can do it right now, every day in such a simple way.
I hope you listen to my interview with Matt and enjoy it as much as I did it. If you feel compelled, do the work that's needed to be able to be self-aware, spot those opportunities, and fill these gaps. I'm excited for you to cherish my interview with People of Purpose's Matt Ellingson.