#2 “If you love standing in the rain, tell people you love standing in the rain”
Updated: Jul 24, 2019
The other day, I sat down with the founder of Connecting Champions, Sidney Kushner. Connecting Champions is a nonprofit that asks kids with cancer, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” and connects them with a mentor for their cancer journey.
When Sidney was sixteen, he hated the word passion. It was drilled in his 16 year old mind to find his passion. How was he supposed do that? When he was in high school, his friend Lauren passed away from a rare form of cancer. Sidney might have not known his passion, but he knew what he cared about. After watching her go through that journey, he knew he wanted to help kids with cancer. He cared about that, so he TALKED about it. Soon he and his friends were TALKING to other kids going through cancer, asking them, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” From hockey players to dancers to everything in between, they shared what they cared about.
He decided he wanted to connect kids to people in those dream careers, so he kept TALKING about it. This time he talked with the chief pediatric oncologist at Children’s Hospital to ask about whether a nonprofit that connected children with people in their dream careers existed. It didn’t exist, so he started his own. (as a nineteen year old!). Go check out their website! www.connectingchampions.org
In Sidney’s own words, there is only one you and only one me in this world. For the world to function correctly, we need what makes us unique and we need to talk about it. If you love standing in the rain, tell people you love standing in the rain! You are going to find someone else who loves standing in the rain. Sidney doesn’t hate the word passion anymore. He understands now that a passion is just something you care about.
So, what can we learn from Sidney? Sidney emphasizes that you need to talk. Most importantly, you need to talk to the person right in front of you. If someone needs your help, you drop what you are doing and help them. It doesn’t matter if you need to finish an essay or you need to study, you do what you can. Second, you need to talk to the people that care about what you care about that are five, ten, fifteen steps in front of you. He talked to the chief pediatric oncologist because he also cared about helping kids with cancer.
So, isn’t it ironic that kid who growing up hated the word passion, found his asking other kids about their passion? So, you can see where talking about what he loved took Sidney. What do you care about and who are you going to tell?