How to Become a Hero c.j. hayden
   How to Become a Hero
   You Are the Champion the World Is Waiting For

   C.J. Hayden, MCC

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Mid-year's resolutions 

With the year half gone, I decided it was the perfect time to check in on my New Year's resolutions. Why wait until December to see what I didn't do this year?

This January, I wrote about the idea of including one heroic act in your New Year's resolutions and made a commitment to take on one of my own -- to launch or join a project in support of educating girls in the developing world. I'm pleased to report that last month I launched the Send Girls to School Project.

I've written previously about the important role of girls' education in eradicating global poverty. Lawrence Summers, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, puts it simply: "Educating girls yields a higher rate of return than any other investment in the developing world."

Send Girls to School is an education and advocacy project dedicated to improving education for girls in the developing world by compiling and sharing research, publicizing girls' education projects and supporting their fundraising efforts, publishing original writings about the impact of girls' education, and more. If this issue speaks to you, please consider getting involved.

What important resolutions of yours have gotten lost in the hustle of your daily existence since January? Take a look now and see what you still have time to accomplish in 2007.

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Ignoring the signs 

We live in a country of rebels. It seems that flagrant disregard of signs is part of our national character. I witness this every time I work out at the gym. The line of treadmills, elliptical trainers, and exercise bikes looks out through floor-to-ceiling windows at a spectacular view of the northern half of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay. But directly below, my eyes are drawn to the constant activity on the top floor of the parking garage, an area where all the stalls are clearly marked "Compact Car Only."

During the course of a 40-minute workout, I'll see a dozen different SUV's, vans, and pickup trucks pull in and out of these too-small spaces. With not enough room between the lanes to back and turn, they often have to pull in and out several times, sometimes with the help of a passenger or passerby to guide them. Solo drivers frequently bump into the other parked cars, sometimes leading to altercations.

Why do these drivers insist on ignoring the signs and parking in spaces too small for their vehicles, even when there are plenty of full-size spaces on the floors below? And these aren't the only signs I see being ignored. Daily, I notice people pushing doors marked "pull," standing still on the left side of escalators posted "walk on left, stand on right," and getting out of their airplane seats while the "fasten seat belts" sign is lit. And I can't remember the last time I saw anyone actually observing a speed limit sign.

I guess it's not surprising, then, that we also ignore much more significant signs than these. For example, when you wake up on Monday morning and feel sick to your stomach at the thought of another week at a meaningless job. Or when you have a recurring dream of a promised land you can't seem to reach. Or when three times in one week, news about a cause you're attracted to, but doing nothing about, drops into your lap.

There are times when it may serve you to rebel against authority. Following the rules all the time is not necessarily the best path to making a difference in the world. But when the authority you are rebelling against is your own inner knowing that a path to something greater is waiting for you, maybe you should pay more attention to the signs.


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