01 May Finding the Words
I know who I’m supposed to be.
I know what I’m supposed to act like.
I know the rules of this gig. I’ve spent my whole adult life preparing myself to live up to some sort of leadership position.
I’ve sat under dozens of leaders (some more leadery than others) who’ve handled their positions of leadership in various ways to set the good and/or bad example. Some faked it so well they spent decades fooling their following into one ideal or another. Others have done the complete opposite and care so deeply, give so generously, lead so faithfully they continue to inspire all who come in contact with them.
And then there’s me.
I’ve been using the hashtag #AccidentalLeader lately. For one, I love clever hashtags. Won’t take much to get me wanting to put something on a t-shirt! But for another, I honestly feel this is the role I’m living out at the moment.
I’m neither qualified nor deserving of the position I’ve been put in as the voice people hear when they press “play” in a Gamerosity video. I’m just some guy who got Stage 4 cancer when he was 15 and spent the better part of his adulthood trying to move on from it. I’m known as a cancer survivor yet most of my survivorship was trying to forget that time of my life (obviously only to have it coming back and becoming a major part of my life presently). This is, by and large, why I think it’s ridiculous to make Gamerosity about me; my only merit is having been through what these children are going through today.
I didn’t start Gamerosity because I somehow achieved great perspective in my life and therefore ready to show the world my greatness, I started it out of a inescapable compelling. I had to respond to this feeling in my heart. The results of that response, with the support of so many other people, has led me to this place.
Where is this place?
I can’t quite describe it. There’s a conscious awareness that the things I write have meaning, influence, and purpose in the lives of others. That comes with this heavy responsibility to ensure that my words are short and purposed. There’s a mutual trust between myself and those who respond to the things I write. I can’t break that trust.
How can I look upon this responsibility and take advantage of others from it? I can’t. I won’t. Ever.
Maybe that’s what leadership is. Maybe it’s a bunch of “what the heck do I say?!”‘s going on and I’m just one of them. I doubt it, but maybe? If it is, I guess I feel a lot better right now because, for the most part, before I address anything controversial going on with Gamerosity, I be sure to run it by Combsy and Carlos before it posts. More often then not, I find myself changing direction altogether on my position and taking their advice.
And lately, there’s been a lot of me having to go to these guys before I respond to something. I think that’s what this post is about, maybe.
Gamerosity is growing, there’s no denying that. Our following isn’t “huge” by comparison to others, but it’s strong. Super strong. And fairly ubiquitous, which is kind of cool. But also terrifying.
I get to have interactions with people who are just now learning about Gamerosity who have no idea of the journey it took to get where we are. They don’t know why we don’t share certain things, why we don’t say certain things, why we post what we post. They simply hold us to the typical “non-profit/charity” measuring rod that people have used their whole lives and wonder why we’re not like them. It’s cool, I understand this comes with the territory, but guess who has to answer those questions? Yeah, this guy. And while some people believe they’re the first person to give a percentage of their sales to Gamerosity in exchange for promoting their “event” on our Facebook page (I simply can’t turn Gamerosity into an ad page.), I’ve made promises.
I’ll never marginalize anyone’s efforts, that’s not my point. I think my point is that I have to answer to all of these inquiries as though they’re the first to approach us. Not for any other reason but the fact that people deserve to be appreciated for caring about our Charity. How do you do that without sounding condescending or scripted? Yeah, I don’t know either. I just try to be real.
It just seems like people expect so much more. It’s simple. Do you want to help the work we’re doing at Gamerosity? Cool. Do something about it with the time you have available.
You want me to do something about it? I’m sorry, I already am.
Gamerosity isn’t my playground, it’s my passion. I wanted to do something so I used the time I had, volunteered, put forth an effort, assembled a team, and pushed as hard as I could to show it to the world. If I fail, I fail.
At the end of the day, I’m just a graphic designer who works for a screen printing company and moonlights as an Executive Director.
I don’t know if those are the “words to say” and I don’t know if that was very leadery, but I do know that if I and a group of my friends can do something special in our free time, you can do anything you want if your motives are right. And yeah, your motives do matter.
I want to help kids with cancer know they’re loved and valued. Those are my motives. Not to be famous. Not to get rich. Not to have followers or to gain your respect. I don’t need to be affirmed or coddled. I just need you to buy a shirt and use our platform.