There are many, many amazing people in the world. Yesterday, I was in the presence of two of them.
One you will have heard of, and not only because I've been squealing about him on Facebook. Colonel Chris Hadfield has reignited interest in space exploration like no one since the 1960's. As Commander of the International Space Station from March to May 2013 (and the first Canadian to hold that position) he and his son, Evan, used social media to connect with people around the globe. His photos showing the awesomeness of our world inspired our imaginations, and the experiments he shared blew our minds. His rendition of Space Oddity has been viewed more than 21 million times on Youtube. His speech last night, at a fundraising dinner for the Northern Medical Programs Trust, was humorous and humble, and an absolute joy to experience.
The other amazing person who spoke at the dinner was the young woman who received the Rising Star Health Services Award. She is a Canadian National Champion in Judo, and had a very good chance to attend the Olympics. She is an extremely talented artist, and studied Industrial Design. Somewhere along the way, she developed cancer in her leg. The subsequent treatments were fierce and debilitating, and destroyed any chance she had of participating in the Olympics. During her experiences fighting cancer, she decided to switch her focus to medicine, and is now in her third year in the Northern Medical Program. She uses her industrial design expertise to create toys that doctors use to explain medical conditions to children, her artwork adorns the Paediatric wing of our local hospital, and she is exploring the link between art and health.
In the face of such heroes, it can be easy to see my own achievements as petty and insignificant. But somehow both of these people used their successes to inspire everyone in the room. Listening to people capable of such perseverance and determination motivates me—and many others, I am sure—to dig deeper, try harder, and work doggedly at those goals that lie rooted within myself.