Today I finally want to thank you for the inspiration you have been for me during the last years. I saw you first on the French-German-TV-Channel quite some time ago – and to be honest I was impressed, but forgot your message too soon. Nevertheless every now and then it came back to me, when my job at a University in Germany as a research assistant became too much for me, because some students were aggressive and offending me. I wasn’t so sure if I really liked the compliment “Among your enemies you’re having a good name”, because I never wanted to be hated or give others the impression that I despised them. But obviously somehow it went that way.
One night I when I was really desperate and couldn’t sleep because of all the anger I felt, I was watching your videos on youtube and when I listened again to you telling about that offending ad in the newspaper that made you reflect your life and your attitude that was the point when I finally wanted to turn around my direction as well, because I realized it was wrong. So I quit my job and in September this year I am leaving for Canada for several months, for a complete re-start, for doing something I love, for learning more about myself and to change my attitude to myself and to other people. Because for a long time I took up all the negative energy my boss, my students, colleagues and so on gave to me and I kept it inside – and in the end it made me seriously sick. At that point I remembered you and your message I heard a couple of years ago and that was the night I sat in front of the computer for several hours, watching your youtube-videos and I said to myself “Yes, that’s the right way. You have to create love to replace hate”.
Just wanted to tell you about having this impact on me and on my life. You are an amazing and precious man, thank you for sharing your message! I love you. Facebook says you already have too many friends (can anyone have too many friends?), so you can’t ad me – but I hope you get this message.
Best wishes and a big hug from Germany!
Dear Scary Guy,
My name is Amanda and I work for a program called Upward Bound, which is a college prep program for high school students. Upward Bound includes about sixty-five high school students and about twelve adults.
I’m not sure if you are aware of the goings on in Oklahoma, but two months ago, an 11-year-old boy named Ty Smalley took his own life because he was bullied so much at school. Mark Brennaman has been working with the Smalley family since the loss of their son. He came and spoke to the program yesterday afternoon where he showed us a video of you on Youtube.com. I was fascinated to say the least. I was inspired, as were many of the students. After we watched your video, one of the students suggested that we take on the “Seven Day; Seven Night Challenge.” We started this morning at 7 a.m. and so far the students have embraced the Challenge incredibly.
At Upward Bound, we have started our own program called Stand For The Silent. The students have organized this entire thing on their own. They came up with pledge cards to stop bullying in schools. There is a driver who busses students to the program who coined a phrase for us. “I Am Somebody.” The students decided that when you pledge and get a pledge card, you would also get a bracelet that says “I Am Somebody.” and on the back of the bracelet would be the initials of the boy, Ty Smalley.
You have been such an inspiration to our effort and I just wanted to tell you that the work you have been doing for the past seven years is absolutely incredible. I want to thank you for your message. I know this program, and myself, has greatly benefitted in just one day.
Dear Scary Guy,
A Few years back in school, your film inspired my class be nicer to each other and to see each other without being prejudiced. But to actually meet the person that has made such a difference in the world is amazing.
My 3 year old little sister, myself and my other half (Neil) came back to our shop and she said how she had a big hug from a soft giant and i think that is what it felt like, a big warm hug with out being scared. She later watched your video all the way through, I feel as though she really enjoyed it. =] After we came home, she sat on the chair in our living room and gave herself tattoos all over her body then came to hug everyone in the house, your video really lifted her mood even though she couldn’t fully understand all of it.
It’s great to see that after so long you still care about what your doing and how your message is still going around the world.
Keep rockin’ =]
Here is a link to the photo that was taken on that day, I know we look scared but we were definitely excited and even a bit shy. I feel very honoured to have that picture taken with you and really hope to bump into you again soon or maybe when ash invites us to the studio. =P
Please could you send a signed card to:
April (me 18), Emily (younger sister 16) & Taylor (my little sister 3)
Thank you. Will be in touch xxx