“I want to help you. And it's okay for you to accept my help. 'Cause when people need help, you give it to 'em.” - Juan Delgadillo
Spoiler Alert: Wish Man the book or the movie are about the life of Frank Shankwitz. His life work may be familiar to you even if his name isn’t.
I almost passed up the opportunity to watch the movie late last year due to the wording of the preview text. I’m thankful that I investigated it further and discovered what it was really about.
Was Frank’s childhood defined by being homeless and hungry? Or was it defined by kindness and generosity? It was both.
After watching the film I reminisced when as a child myself I read A Fortunate Life by A. B. Facey and how much the title of that book is a powerful choice due to what’s between the front and back covers.
Learning about Frank’s life it was a fresh reminder about the power one person can have in another’s life. The movie portrays a man deeply troubled by his childhood yet his life is devoted to serving others as a motorcycle cop. With out the intervention of Juan Delgadillo in his life it’s possible that we never would have heard of Frank Shankwitz. The impact of one man showing some one else the power of real love that now reverberates to millions around the world.
I connected with Frank’s story as his life was forever changed after a motorcycle accident. He could have continued dealing with is past in self destructive ways yet through helping one person he forever changed not only his life but now millions around the world. By granting the wish of one terminally ill boy a movement was started which now not only improves the lives of those that are ill but has a flow on effect to the family and care givers.
As the above video explains granting someone’s wish isn’t just about making them feel good it can have a measurable difference in their well being. I had a friend offer to cut my hair last year. Not a big thing in the scheme of things. Didn’t cost them in the monetary sense and only took about an hour of their time. Months later I still consider it to be one of the most thoughtful gifts anyone gave me last year. An hour of someone else not just saying you matter but, let me show you how much.
This isn’t a call for you to read the book or watch the movie or assist in any way you can in helping the make a wish foundation in their mission, though all could be inspiring ways to spend some time this year. I’m writing this in the hope of telling you if you haven’t been told before or reminding you if you have, of the life changing impact you can have, regardless of your life to date.
Frank’s life could have lead him in so many different directions but he discovered despite his adversity that advocating for others can help them as much as oneself.
So what when you look back at 2020 what will you be able to say about the year that was? How many people will you be a hero for? It could be as simple as using the skills you already have and completely unplanned helping someone you already know, as my friend did with cutting my hair. Or it could be a more orgnised and planned response to needs in your community like what Scott Presler is doing.
So whatever you have experienced in life thus far don’t let it stop you from living a life overflowing with love for others.
“You're not just anything. You're, you! You can help people. Remember, if someone needs help, you give it to 'em” - Juan Delgadillo
Next Month: Nobel Peace Prize Winners that Lost at Love
Neville Hiatt was the 2020 Press Services International Tronson Senior Writers Award Winner for Australia. His previous posts for can be read here.
He spent a decade working for Radio Stations before his career was intermissioned by someone in a hurry to get home from work. For more of his award winning creativity visit http://nevillehiatt.com.
He also blogs for http://altcoincollege.com/covering the way cryptocurrencies and blockchain are changing our world.