How could one person possibly make a difference in the world where there are 7.6 billion on Earth alone? Maybe they can’t but all it takes is one person to start and make a change. One doesn’t have to be a martyr or the hero to make a tangible difference. You can tread lightly on this planet and make a positive impact to everyone (including yourself). You can keep your vision, goals and purpose intact, but you just might need to find a different route to market — may be RUN to make a change.
There are a lot of passionate runners out there. But it’s not only the running that they love but also the reasons they run for which keep them going. The drive to put on foot in front of the other and keep moving forward is at the very heart of long-distance running.
Sridhar Reddy, an Indian American, known as the ‘Running Man’ has been running for 30 years to support various social causes. He founded a not-for-profit organisation, Running For Humanity, dedicated to the betterment of the human condition. He says, “The world is facing many problems of crime, tensions and civil wars by many anti-religious and anti-social activists, I run to convey to the world to live peacefully and meaningfully.”
Sridhar’s love for running started when as a teenager he walked from the northern tip to the southern tip of India. During his college days, he ran 1,300 miles from New York to Miami. During his professional life, he ran 400 miles from New York to Province town; 350 miles around the Cyprus Island of the Mediterranean sea in Europe; 210 miles from Amsterdam to Brussels; 220 miles from Brussels to Paris, and 287 miles from Gothenburg to Stockholm, Sweden. Currently, he is running from Geneva to Zurich covering 324 km.
Doing something for a worthy cause is an emotionally-charged engagement. It is something that everyone wants, and it is so elusive to so many. Many underestimate the power of sports to create real change in society.
Sri, as he is commonly known, is involved in many charitable organisations in the US, Europe and India and holds three Guinness World Records for 2012, 2013 and 2016 for the 100-km barefoot run. He says, “Peacemaking is not a sprint, it is more of a marathon. No major changes can ever happen overnight — it requires perseverance, resolve, willpower and determination just as they are needed to finish long runs. Human spirit is capable of great things. I have seen the elusive peace, and I believe that it can become evident to all, one steady step at a time.”
Standing by for a cause drives awareness, buzz and action, seemingly sweeping up everyone in its path. Its origin can be orchestrated or organic. It starts with the question: Why do I need to do this?
“I guess God has chosen me. I am a normal human being, I have an idea and I am pursuing it and trying to make a small dent in everyday lives of people. We are living in a digital world, ever-changing and making history every moment. Everyone has the power to do something, all we need to do is open our minds,” says Sri.
The words of Winston S. Churchill rings true: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”
So, if you’ve always wanted to make an impact, don’t wait. Start today. Today is the day for it.
(The writer can be reached at gs.sudhakarrao@gmail. com)