In a world of celebrities and political powerhouses sometimes it’s easy to feel like these people are in a class of their own. It’s easier to look at their amazing accomplishments and chalk it up to them simply being inherently born into their important lives. But regular people like you and me can achieve greatness. So without further ado here are nine ordinary people who do extraordinary things.
1. Ha’a Keaulana
Ha’a is making waves in the surfing world and changing the out-dated stereotypes surrounding strength and beauty. In the photo above you can see her in one of her training routines which involves running underwater whilst carrying a 50 pound boulder. You go girl!
In Canada we view zip-lining as a fun, recreational activity but for little Daisy Mora it’s simply a mode of transport on her way to school. Daisy lives in the rainforest of Colombia and every school day she rides an 800 metre zip line going about 50 miles an hour, 400 metres above the Rio Negro. Oh and by the way, that sac? That contains her 5 year old brother Jamid who is too young to ride the zip-line by himself. These kids are determined to get an education and it makes me value my education all the more.
3.Julia Butterfly Hill
On December 10, 1997 Julia Hill climbed a thousand year old Californian redwood tree and she didn’t come down for another 738 days. Hill was dedicated to saving our ancient forests and her more than two year ordeal eventually paid off. The tree she lived in (nicknamed Luna) and another three acres surrounding it were saved from deforestation. Oh and if you think that Julia Hill is unique in her dedication think again. More than a decade after Julia Hill’s historic feat Miranda Gibson spent 449 days in a tree in Tasmania and was only forced back onto the ground by a forest fire. Her efforts helped to expand Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area by an additional 170, 000 hectares. Read about her journey here.
Of course climbing a tree isn’t the only way to show your love and passion for something. Laci Green believes in empowering young women and expanding their knowledge of sexuality and sexual health. You can watch her countless educational videos on her youtube channel. I’ve learned more from Laci Green than I ever learned in a sex-ed class.
Okay, so Josephine Baker was technically a celebrity back in the day but she’s far too amazing to leave off this list. Josephine was basically the Angelina Jolie of her day. She adopted and raised 12 children (known as her Rainbow Tribe) from backgrounds ranging from French, Moroccan, Korean, Colombian and from many other countries around the world. But Josie was more than just an amazing mother and performer. She was also a civil rights activist and a war hero, spying for France throughout World War II. You can see this amazing woman above with her pet cheetah Chiquita.
We might not know the individual names of these amazing young girls but we can all salute them for their quiet courage to learn in a war-torn country. In Afghanistan women cannot ride bicycles, but skateboards have yet to be forbidden so these girls jumped at the opportunity that arose when a non-profit known as Skateistan set-up shop in their country. Not only do the girls learn how to use skateboards but they also get a chance to study literacy and more advanced subjects for free at the back of the skating area.
This ingenious young man invented a device that will drastically help reduce the pollution from car exhausts. He called the device the “Algae Mobile” because the algae inside the tube (which you insert into your exhaust pipe) will convert the carbon dioxide normally emitted from the exhaust into oxygen. Hopefully we’ll see this little invention on the back of every car in the near future.
A few years ago Lydia was walking down the road with her son and two nephews in tow when one of her nephews mentioned that there was an animal behind them. Lydia whirled around to discover a 700 pound polar bear standing a few metres away. Rather than following normal instincts and running away, Lydia ran towards the bear, yelling in an effort to protect her family. The polar bear attacked Lydia but she managed to escape the ordeal with only minor injuries when a fellow villager came to her rescue. Nothing comes between a mama and her cubs.
Okay, so you’ve probably heard of Banksy, but at the end of the day he or she is just an ordinary person making beautiful street art through civil disobedience. Banksy took something which has been traditionally considered vandalism and turned it into a medium for social commentary.
Know who else is an ordinary person meant to do extraordinary things? YOU. Get out there and make your mark on the world. Show us what you can do!