Pencils of Promise

OK. This blog has always been about things that inspire me.
People. Objects. Products. Thoughts. Anything.

This week I watched a video about one of the most
incredible people-Adam Braun.

I watched an interview with him and Jonathan Fields
(posted below if you have 30+ minutes for the
longer version) and I was dumb-founded.

I watched it twice each time feeling more selfish,
self-absorbed and humbled.

How could someone SO young have such an incredible
and self-less vision?
What was I thinking about when I was in my early 20's
(nothing as profound and life-changing as Adam-for sure.
I don't think that even changed much in my 30's!)

In the longer interview you get more or a sense of the kind of
family background and ethics Adam was brought up with
(he has 2 African adopted brothers).

His Grandmother who was carted off to
Auschwitz with all her family (who perished)
survived, and became his main inspiration.

Nothing has inspired me like this for a long time.
It really made me think about, what am I here for?
What will be my legacy? (especially as I don't 
have children).
I don't have any answers yet ( and 
I may never have them)  but I am hoping by having that 
question at the forefront of my mind as I go about my
daily life, something will be ignited.

It also made me realize just how self-absorbed 
I have recently been with my own obstacles
(some of which I have written about here).

It doesn't mean my obstacles didn't exist.
It just made me realize I had no real perspective.
If I did have perspective, they would not have
taken up so much head space.

Sometimes you need to come across
a story like this to just get you back
on track.

PLEASE, if you have just 30 minutes, grab your favorite
drink, make yourself comfy and watch the full story.

If you have children that moan about doing their homework
or going to school, get them to watch the short version ;-)

I would love to hear about anything that has recently inspired
you. It doesn't have to be on a big scale or hugely profound. But just
the fact that you felt inspired, means our minds and hearts are still

I would also love to know your thoughts on the above.



  1. From reading your post he sounds like he must be an amazing and incredibly interesting guy. Saving your post so I can come back and watch the video later when I am at home.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

    1. I think you will be inspired when you watch it Tracy x

  2. I know what you mean about stepping back and asking large, visionary questions about your life. Especially when you hear or see someone else applying their talents to improving the lives of others, I've been doing that same thing lately. I'll make a point to watch this video, thanks for sharing this.

    1. It's really worth watching Leslie ;-) Thank you for stopping by xx

  3. Vanessa, Just love this story. I watched the short and will watch the rest tomorrow with my sons. You are so right about stepping back and looking at the big picture. We get caught up in small daily things that don't matter. We should think about what we do on this planet instead! Thanks for sharing this great post! xo Kim

  4. Absolutely exemplary! There are so many children and adults around the world that need the simplest of things! It's sad, with all the abundance in the world that a child has to ask for a pencil. I shake my head, every time I hear a story like this. When I read I AM MALALA, all she wanted (and other girls) was an education. These kind of things should be for all. Thanks for bringing his awareness. I love his story.

  5. I cannot wait to take the time to watch this video! I also love the quote as it is so true. Things that I sometimes grumble about like my job when every day we should be thankful that we can work and collect our pay at the end of the week. It is quotes like this that make you sit back on your heels and go yeah ~ I never thought of it THAT way. xo

  6. Love the new blog design, Vanessa...I'll be back to watch the video in full! xx

  7. Visiting from Miss Celia's High Heeled Life and am so glad I did. I was skimming through the titles and saw this one and it hit me because Alpha Hubby and I just realized this (about the things we take for granted). We began getting rid of what we considered excess (who needs 6 different sets of place settings?). We started sitting things down at the curb (we live in boonies) for people to discover and take away. When we bought new chairs, we gave our extra large lounger chairs (still relatively new) away and found out later that a newlywed (very poor) couple who lived across the road, and who had nothing, saw and grabbed them even though the chairs barely fit into their little trailer (mobile home). They had no furniture at all. No dishes, etc. People took things to give to them. No one took it all, they just took what they needed or wanted. Anyone who met my husband when he was taking things down were so grateful for whatever it was. It was amazing. We love giving away instead of selling. We pray over it that the right people get the items and while there were a couple of times I had a hard time (i.e., in what I was giving away), once I let it go? I was so free. A simple pencil, an extra set of dishes, pots, pans, decor, furniture - you never know what will change someone's life. LOVE this post and thank you for inspiring me today.


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