It has taken me some time to finally get this blog up and running. As I began looking through the journal entries I’ve written over the past months, I stumbled upon this entry and I felt that it would be great to share with others. I wrote this blog this past summer, the Summer of 2011, a few months before Life Vest Inside actually launched. It was a time of doubt and fear that I wouldn’t succeed. Looking back, I realize that just how quickly things can change as long as you believe in them.

8/15/11

Hello World – I’m here and it’s time to finally speak up.

I’ve wanted to start a blog for some time now, as a means of sharing with others an idea that I began formulating – a Dream!

Here I am tonight, after almost two years of putting my heart and soul into a project I know I was meant to do, feeling more discouraged than ever, feeling as though I’m a failure, feeling as though this dream has somehow made me turn my world upside down. Obstacles, discouraging words, negative remarks, questions like “what’s the point of this?”

“Do you really think you’re going to make a difference in the world?” “There are tons of things like what you’re doing out there – what makes your project so special?” – its things like that which make you question yourself, make you feel as though you’re crazy to have even attempted, make you wonder if it’s all worth it.

I’m a very positive person, always have been. I’ve always been one to be fueled by the negative remarks of others. I guess I always took it as a challenge and one thing is for sure there’s nothing Orly Wahba loves more than a challenge. But, at the end of the day I’m a human being and sometimes negativity cleverly sneaks right past all the guards you set up for yourself. That’s kinda been what this past week has been about – negative words, negative thoughts slowly but surely creeping into the corners of my mind making me question everything I held to be true, everything I have been pouring my soul into.

You see, my dream is simple, probably not very different than most dreams we’ve all had at one point in our life. My Dream – to make the world a better place! No – I’m not 4 years old – but yes I still have the enthusiasm and conviction a 4 year old has when proudly declaring that dream for the very first time. I’ve always been a dreamer but more importantly I’ve always been a believer; a believer in a better tomorrow and even more so a believer in the good of people.

To those who have been burnt in their life and have become cynical or a “realist” as they tend to title it – try to put your guard down for a moment and remember when you believed just as I do – because I know you did. Some may call me naïve – but I understand the way of the world – I know that bad things happen and that more often than not its people that cause those bad things to happen. But ever think for a moment that the people causing those things have also been burnt, have also been hurt and they’ve forgotten somewhere along the way that people are inherently good and that if we only believe in people a little more, have a little more faith – we can help people begin to believe yet again in themselves.

Getting back to my point, yes I am a dreamer! I’ve always dreamt of a kinder, happier world. One in which people recognize the potential they have to achieve greatness, to touch the life of another, to fill the world with happiness. A world in which people give more than they take. That dream led me to teaching and teaching led me to Life Vest Inside, a non-profit organization I created based on the simple philosophy that kindness keeps the world afloat. We’ve all had hardships in our life; we’ve all felt at one point or another as though we are drowning in a sea of troubles with waters surrounding us on all sides. So, how do we survive, how do we continue, how to we stay afloat? KINDNESS – the kindness others do for us keeps us afloat and in turn the kindness we do for others keeps them afloat. In a sense – we are each other’s life vest as we travel through the stormy seas of life.

I’m sure that as I continue to blog you’ll learn more about Life Vest Inside, but for now let me return to my point.

Like I said, I’ve been feeling down on myself. There is so much I want to accomplish, so many places I see the organization going, but when I look at where it is compared to where it needs to be I feel as though I’m drowning in work and that the gap between where I am and where I want to be will never close or even come close to it. Tonight was one of my low points, but what amazes me is that at the moment you reach a low point G-d sends someone your way to help you see the light within the darkness.

After seeing a movie with a friend of mine, we decided to go for a drive. I couldn’t clear my mind and I began doubting myself more than ever. We went to a nearby hotel to relax and play a game of pool. Little did I know that inspiration was waiting for me in the Hilton lounge. A gentleman approached my friend and I and began conversing. He works in the hotel and is in charge of the bars and restaurants. Jeffrey and I share something in common – we are both dreamers.

After telling us a bit about himself and what he does he asked me what I do. I began to explain to him that I’ve been teaching for 7 years and have decided to take a leave of absence to pursue the dream of Life Vest Inside. He was taken aback and impressed. He looked me straight in the eye and assured me that I should continue to pursue it because it sounds like something promising, something that has the ability to bring happiness into the world. He began speaking about the idea of overcoming obstacles that will undoubtedly arise. It was as though he was reading my mind; knowing what I feared most and quelling those fears with his kind and encouraging words. I needed to hear those words at that very moment and Jeffrey was there to lift me up – he was my life vest.

He reminded me the reason I started this. Not for fame and certainly not for money. Rather I started this because I believed in creating something great, something that would remind people of the importance of the little acts of kindness that we can do for one another. But, if I allow the discouraging words of others get to me – they have won and I’ve lost. It’s about believing in what you do, loving it and not allowing anyone take away the joy you feel when you’re doing what you love.

Jeffrey’s words reaffirmed my belief in myself, my belief in Life Vest Inside, and my belief that I can achieve what others deem impossible. And so I would like to thank you Jeffrey, wherever you are right now for giving me the courage to continue to believe in myself.

We can all be someone’s Jeffrey. After all, you never know the difference the words you say has on the person listening to them. So, open your eyes and take advantage of the moments that pass by way too fast. Don’t just do kindness – Be it! Live it! Breathe it! And who knows whose life you may save!

Life Vest Inside…because kindness does indeed keep the world afloat. How do I know? When you become a recipient of kindness – – you’ll understand.

Goodnight for now.

With love kindness and a whole lotta faith,

Orly

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