Saturday, April 23, 2005

The Price of Action: Giraffe Hero, Marla Ruzicka

In my email today I received a notice from the Giraffe Foundation, telling me that Marla Ruzicka, a young woman killed in last week Iraq, was also a Giraffe. Here's the link to the page that recognizes how special Marla was:

Giraffes are people who stick their neck out to help others. The Giraffe Foundation has been recognizing such people for more than 20 years.

In 1997 I was honored to be named a Giraffe. I wear my pin often. I'm proud of it. It recognizes my on-going effort to stick my neck out to help make this a better world. However, this is not without sacrifice. The time spent helping others often takes away from the time spent with your own family and friends. Some times leaders are so out in front with their vision, that they are alone in a wilderness of ideas, with few others to turn to for support. It's a lonely place.

In reading the Giraffe article about Marla, one quote in the article read: "Her high school principal once advised her that "a good leader does not try to make change; a good leader does what they are supposed to so that others will follow their example." But Ruzicka's resolve, commitment and enthusiasm are unflagging, as she prefers to live by the example and words of Mahatma Gandhi: "Inaction in a time of conflict is inexcusable."

I agree with Marla.

The war in Iraq is one of many conflicts in this world. We need more Marlas and more Giraffes who are willing to sacrifice everything to help others have brighter futures.

Hurrah! for Marla.

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