A Story To Change The World.

Posted on November 5, 2012

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“Baby step around the office. Baby step into the hallway. Baby step onto…” Bob Wiley paused, sweating, and sized up the passengers already in a cramped elevator. His voice cracked in fear, “into the elevator.”

I’m not quite sure if he’s ever seen What About Bob before, but If Gabe ever reads this, I couldn’t suggest it more (just don’t have too many expectations going into it). Over the course of the last couple weeks, I met a pretty impressive man. At 22 years old, Gabe Murfitt was born with a disability pronounced something like pseudo-blahblahyaddayadda-ilia, which caused his arms and legs not to grow as we typically think. As a result, he stands 3’4” tall, his hands basically attach to his shoulders, and his legs are frozen in a criss-cross applesauce position.

Gabe is making his living as a storyteller. He wouldn’t say that, of course; his business card says motivational speaker. For Gabe, though, his presentations take on less of a U-rah-rah and more of a let’s-be-real conversational energy. I’ve had the pleasure of filming his presentations for a promotional video I’m in the process of making for him.

Of all the stories I’ve heard him tell, the experiences he’s shared, and the million-dollar sound bites I need to whittle down, one of those quotes in particular quote stuck with me.

“Everyone has a story to tell. It’s those stories that change the world.”

On the drive home from the  final speech I recorded, that quote pinballed around the inside of my head, coming to a rest outside of the dreaded elevator that Bob gathers the courage to finally step on—baby-step on.

The Constructivist in me makes that connection to that quirky Bill Murray movie. There is a definite connection to the building of our own knowledge (and resulting behavior) that seems to be cumulative; having a ripple effect, or snowballing… call it what you will. Gabe is offering a chance for his audience to that first baby step.

Gabe’s story is one that is changing the world. I witnessed the reactions of his audiences, proving just that. But he’s not running for president, he’s not the emperor of the world, or anything like that… he’s just some speaker guy from Seattle. So what does he do?

Gabe stands 3’4” TALL; plays basketball and baseball, and speaks well beyond his 22 years. The person whom Gabe Murfitt is, is proof that we are all strong; that when we run into the walls of our life—the walls often build by society—we have the ability to overcome… and even prosper. Yes, prosper. He’s developed an acronym that he’s lived by to help him through the peaks and valleys of his world: C.L.E.A.R. (C-ourage; L-eadership; E-ndurance; A-ttitude; R-espect).

At an elementary school, Gabe answered the innocent questions of children simply trying to create a framework or connection to understand and place him in their lives. In time, I’m sure those students will be more accepting of those unlike themselves. At a community presentation, a high school girl introduced Gabe. She said his positive attitude is something she will think about when life gets too much for her. At a meeting, a middle-aged gal spoke to him in tears.

All because he is sharing his story. You, me… all of us, have a story to share.

The stories we hear translate into life. They attach themselves to our web of knowledge, building on what we know to be true, and contribute to how we see the world, how we react to the world, and how we live in the world. His story is only one of many… but, yes, it is changing the world. Those baby steps have impacts.

Thanks for visiting my home, Gabe. I hope it’s not the last time.

For more on Gabe, visit:

www.gabeshope.org

Gabe’s book: My Message is C.L.E.A.R on Amazon

Gabe’s Facebook PageGabe’s Twitter

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Posted in: Think