Where is your legacy?

Mike Smith, an inspirational speaker, talks to the Monte Vista senior class

Mike Smith, an inspirational speaker, talks to the Monte Vista senior class

It is said that our generation is the most selfish and materialistic generation that has ever existed. We obsess over meaningless and empty things like the amount of likes we get on instagram or how many twitter followers we have. We lead such self-centered lives, that the time we spend selflessly dedicating ourselves to others is slim to none.

An inspirational speaker who came to Monte Vista, Mike Smith, disagreed. He came to speak to the Monte Vista senior class, varsity sports captains, and the leadership class, about a month ago on this very issue. He disagreed. He believes that our generation is good and wants to care about meaningful things, but we just don’t know how. He shared his story about how he turned his life around and came to find meaning in life through selfless kindness.

In high school, he was the popular kid who played multiple varsity sports and was at the head of a large group of friends. His senior year, he turned his back on this whole previous way of life centered on popularity and partying, and instead took the time to change the life of a friendless freshman named Calvin. Calvin was poor and had a disability, and for these reasons he got bullied frequently. Mike took Calvin under his wing and they became best friends. He ate lunch with Calvin, walked him to class, drove him to get breakfast in the morning, and even spent his weekends playing yugio cards with Calvin.

Although at first Mike’s friends were resistant to the idea of befriending someone they usually wouldn’t usually hang out with, Mike got them to include Calvin and bring him into their group. They made Calvin feel special and loved. Eventually Mike got the whole high school to love Calvin.

For Christmas the seniors all pitched in to buy him presents and decorate a tree at school just for Calvin, because they knew he was poor and wouldn’t be getting Christmas presents. Mike had created a major social change at his school, where he transformed it for the better.

Now, Mike is the head of a nonprofit charity organization called Skate for Change where he distributes food, socks, and supplies to the homeless. He and Calvin are still best friends to this day.