Josh Irby

Live from Sarajevo

An Open Letter to You from the Rest of the World

This letter is a guest post by The Rest of the World. It is addressed to you.

Copyright NASA Goddard (Creative Commons)

Copyright NASA Goddard (Creative Commons)

Dear Neighbor,

We hope you are doing well and that you had a wonderful holiday with friends and family.

Now, the reason we are writing: we need youdesperately.

We’re not sure if you’ve noticed, but we—the rest of the world—are not doing so well. Every time we turn around, darkness seems to be advancing. War. Sickness. Hatred. Hunger. Division. It is truly overwhelming. Sometimes we despair and resign ourselves to a bleak future.

But then, we meet people like you. You want to live more than an “average life.” You want to do something important, leave a mark, make a difference. You don’t want to fade off into the horizon of history—another forgotten dot on a timeline. You want to live a better story.

Not just a good story (i.e. not boring) but a good story (i.e. noble and meaningful). You want your skills and talents to benefit others, to improve society, to bring joy to people. You are willing to live a life of self-sacrifice for the good of others. In fact, you are doing some of that now.

We are writing to ask—no, to beg—”Don’t give up!”

Dream dreams.
Envision visions.
Set goals.

We are cheering you on.

Learn a new craft.
Hone a skill.
Develop in character.
Perfect an art.
Increase in knowledge.

Go for it. We need you to.

Because, if you’re not living a better story, there is no one to take your place. Our puzzle will forever lack the you-shaped piece.

Don’t cheat us out of your story—
the book you will write,
the children you will raise,
the organization you will start,
the business you will run,
the knowledge you will share,
the friendship you will give.

We need you. We need your better story.

Some will point out that the odds are not with you. Only 8% of those who make New Year’s resolutions turn out to be resolute. But you are different. Don’t listen to the doubters and the naysayers.

Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do it—
not your society,
not your family,
not your past,
not your present,
not your limitations,
not your failures,
not your sex,
not your skin,
not your friends,
not even yourself.

We are waiting and watching with anticipation.

Fight the resistance—that dastardly gravity that pulls us all towards mediocrity and passivity. Kick it as long as you’ve got a foot, and fight it as long as you’ve got a fist. Butt it as long as you’ve got a head. Bite it as long as you’ve got a tooth. And when your old and fistless and footless and toothless, gum it till the day you die.

Fight! Because you are a fighter, because you have a better story to live, because without you, and your story, the world would not be as it should be.

With sincerity and gratitude,

The Rest of the World

P.S. We stole that part about kicking and biting from a guy named Billy Sunday. We don’t think he will mind.

P.P.S. If you are willing to keep fighting (and we hope you are), please let us know in the comments below. It will be a great encouragement for us.

P.P.P.S. We have asked Josh to write more blog posts here over the next few months to help you Fight the Resistance. We recommend you subscribe to his blog to make sure you don’t miss anything.

P.P.P.P.S. We wanted to send this to some other people, but we didn’t have their address. You can send it to them on twitter and facebook if you want.


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