File this post in the folder labeled, “Inspiration comes from unexpected places.”
A couple weeks ago, I was heard Howard Stern interview Perez Hilton on my Sirius radio as I was driving from one place to another. For those who don’t know Perez Hilton, he’s a celebrity gossip blogger on his blog: www.perezhilton.com. Originally, his blog became popular because his posts were snarky and sometimes nasty towards celebrities. Turns out that there was a big market for that sort of thing and seemingly over night, he became famous. Today, his blog is a more mainstream celebrity gossip blog that is regularly read by millions of people. Another social media success story that couldn’t have been written 10 years ago.
I’ve heard Perez Hilton interviewed before. He’s a bright, energetic, interesting dude. But, not the kind of guy I would usually expect to provide me a lot of inspiration. And yet, in this interview, he proved to be inspiring on several different levels. First, he is making a pile of money today by blogging–which appears to be his passion. Granted, it sounds like this guy works incredibly hard and for long hours, but he sounds like he loves what he’s doing and he’s not got a website that he believes is worth over $100 million. Not too shabby.
But, this website success story wasn’t what got me in this interview. Instead, it was their conversation about the new children’s book that Perez has written titled The Boy with Pink Hair. Here is how Perez summarized the book in his own words.
“It’s about being different, finding what makes you special, and sharing it with the world.”
Wow, that’s powerful stuff–and a particularly great message for children. Perez Hilton is teaching children how to fly their freak flags. That’s cool. In this interview, he shared some of his own journey on which he’s become much more aware of his own language and impact on others. At the same time, he’s learned to embrace who he is and share that fully and authentically with the world.
But, of everything in the interview, there was one quote that stood out to me as he talked about the book and it’s message.
“Sometimes, all you need is one person to not look at you like a freak to make all the difference.”
This is so true. And it speaks to the power we have to make a difference with others. We have the ability at any moment and at every moment to give others the gift of acceptance, of support, of belief. All it takes is one voice. And we each have the opportunity to use our voice this way. The question is, do we? Do we take the time to acknowledge others who are taking the risk of being different, being themselves, thinking big thoughts and dreaming big dreams? You have to power to provide fuel to those brave souls.
Take the time to acknowledge those around you who don’t try to fit in. Let them know that you see them and that you appreciate them and that you support them. It could make all the difference.