I am adding a name to my favorite people list this evening – Aidan Thomas Hornaday. I learned about Aidan from my buddy B-Dubya (a.k.a. Barbara Wang). B-Dubya posted a video clip of an interview with Aidan on her Facebook page and…well, I fell head-over-heels in love with him.
I know, it is difficult to believe that one can fall for someone after watching one news story, but it happened. In those few minutes, the essence of Aidan’s soul was made clear and it was so strong, pure, and beautiful that I could not help but love him. Some things are just that simple. Watch the video for yourself and you’ll see what I mean (video from an Atlanta news channel).
Aidan plays a wicked harmonica and is quite the dapper dresser. He runs a charity that he does fundraising for at every opportunity called Aidan Cares. In Aidan’s face is a comfortable wisdom that you don’t often see…particularly in someone his age. Oh, and about his age – he is 12. He started his charitable work when he was 8. In four years he has raised $60,000 for charity on his own steam.
The Facebook page for Aidan’s charity notes that its mission is to: “Raise awareness that each child can make a difference and give and grow to be a life long great giver. To educate children, parents and communities on how to meet the needs of others, the planet and animals. To find the giving gift within our children and help them use it!”
Did I mention I love this kid? He is delivering proof that despite all the challenges the world is facing, there are beacons of hope who will illuminate the path for those around them. Aidan is a leader for a new age of understanding regarding social commitment and engagement.
What Aidan has already accomplished for others at the tender age of 12 should cause us all to look inward and ask ourselves what we have done lately to evidence that we care about our fellow man. Are we teaching our children to be like Aidan by our words and deeds? What kind of society do we want to live in?
I want to live in a society with more kids like Aidan. I want to see that “giving gift” that Aidan referenced nurtured in all children. That doesn’t mean they have to start a charity, instead it means that they become aware that they have the power to help others in a hundred small ways. We know that small kindnesses have a ripple effect. They spread outward and multiply. What happens when you evidence care for others’ well-being is you create a different kind of world. Aidan’s example is one we can all take to heart – contribute to the greater good with whatever you have to give.
Spread the word folks – Aidan cares – and you should too.
Day one thousand four hundred and forty-two of the new forty – obla di obla da