In this episode, I attempt to interview myself (is that a thing?) sharing some ripples and encouraging others to create and share their own ripples.
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Sharing Ripples of Hope, Inspiration, and Encouragement
BRIEF SUMMARY OF EPISODE
In this episode, Matt Meiers attempts to interview himself (is that a thing?) shares some ripples and encourages others to create and share their own ripples.
Matt Meiers Interview
Matt: [00:00:00] One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed the boy picking up starfish and throwing them into the ocean. Approaching the boy he asked, excuse me, but what are you doing? The boy replied. Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The sun is rising and the tide is going out. If I don't throw them back, they'll die.
The man laughed to himself and said, But there's too many starfish on this beach. You can't possibly make a difference. After listening politely the boy bent down. Picked up another starfish and throw it into the ocean. Then turning to the man, he said, I made a difference to that one.
I'm Matt Meiers, and this is sharing ripples of hope, inspiration and encouragement.
I have not a big fan of podcast hosts to interview themselves. Having said that that's exactly what I'm about to do. [00:01:00] I come from the photography world and I am the founder of so many angels, a charity that photographs gets with cancer and transforms them into whatever they want to be when they grow up.
I try to put emphasis on when they grow up, because I want to give them hope that they will grow up, that things will get better. And although it doesn't always happen. I do think it's important for the kids and the families and others around them to have the hope that they will grow up.
I've been a guest on several podcasts before and gotten pretty comfortable on that side of the microphone. If that's the correct phrase. But now being on this side of the microphone. I wanted to let future guests of this podcast. No kind of the format of what I plan on doing, even though that will change. Once I get better at doing the interview.
Asking the right questions, listening better and [00:02:00] helping guide the conversation in a way that allows them to share their ripples. They've been creating.
So without further ado.
I allow myself to introduce. Myself
Matt: What made me start so many angels. When I was living in Delaware, there was a Make-A-Wish event, not far from my house. And I've volunteered to take photos to help promote the event and the local business. And the woman who spoke had her wish granted when she was 13.
Now, this was a total Miami beach girl. 13 years old. All day, every day at the beach and her wish was to go snow skiing. So they got the family cabin halfway down the mountain. They skied out in the morning. They skated at night. But what stuck with me was the fact that she said for that week, I was not sick.
And I just. Tried to think what could I do as a photographer? [00:03:00] Two. Help kids. And families for that matter. For lack of a better word or lack of a better phrase.
Distract them. From their normal everyday life. And. Give them a little, something different and just let them have a normal normal for awhile.
How do families benefit as a result of my work?
I think the parents and the kids both benefit because even though the parents don't realize that the photo sessions are for them, And I may not have realized that myself when I first started. Um, They, the parents get to see. Their kids just be a kid. Not sick little Tommy or little Becky, you know, going through cancer and all the, all the crap that they have to go through every day.
They just get to watch their kids, being kids and having again on normal, normal. And it's, it never fails. I, I [00:04:00] sneak a peek back behind me, watch the parents when the kids are posing and. It's just, you can sense that there's a big weight lifted off their shoulder. We're not curing cancer. I, I understand that, but just to give these parents it clumps into what.
Their kid just being a kid. It just means the world to me. The kids on the other hand. Sometimes the younger ones, I don't know that they know what's totally going on. But the older ones. You can see it sinking in a little bit. But what we want with these kids is we photograph the kids against the green screen. So the families do not know what they're getting.
When this canvas arrives in the mail or when we present it to them. Just two. See these kids and they hang their canvas on their wall. We want this canvas in their room. And we want it to be the last thing they see before they go to sleep. And the first thing they see when they wake up. And we want these kids to inspire [00:05:00] themselves.
The way they inspire others. , you know, they're not having a good day. Maybe they look up and see themselves dressed as Superman or wonder woman. And I say, you know, I am that I am that superhero. I can do this. And that just, it gives me a good feeling inside.
Do you have any ripple experiences that have been super impactful for you?
Oh, of course I do.
We'll start with Pam. , when I used to work in an office. Pam, which is not her real name. She used to have foster kids. And toys R us used to be a store and toys R us used to have gift certificates that you would write out. The amount and to the person and to, and from, and everything. So my girlfriend at the time,
Uh, it was my wife. Now she would write in super neat handwriting,, to Pam's kids from Santa. And it would leave it on her desk. Every, few days before Christmas, beginning of December, whatever. And it went on [00:06:00] for a couple of years. And I would hear. Pam. Walk around the office and ask everybody if they were the ones who did this. And she had never asked me.
And I thought it was great because it was, there's just something about. Anonymous giving that makes it more special to me because the receiver. Thinks it could be anybody and it really could be anybody. And it's not about getting the credit. It's just, it's just about doing good for others. So finally, I think it was one summer. She came into my office and she said it was you wasn't it.
And I said, I'm not sure what you're talking about, but yeah, it's probably may, but what are you talking about? She goes, you're Santa Claus and I reached down and patted my belly and I said, thanks, I've been trying to lose a little. She goes, I never asked you one time. I said, and that made it more beautiful.
But the thing I remember most about that was. She sat down and proceeded to tell me every single [00:07:00] gift for the past few years that she had gotten with the kids. Because it was that special to her that somebody else thought. That much about the kids she had.
Next one's gotta be waffle house. A couple months ago, I was traveling in Georgia. Doing sessions for so many angels down there. And I like to, if I can. Tip the bill and the bill was pretty easy to tip this time. It was for like $14. , but then I've been watching. The other employees and there were six of them.
So I asked for six, $5 bills and asked that they share with the other employees. Then they all turned around and thanked me a couple of alls here and there. But then this other guy, this customer who was watching what I did, he nodded and he said, Hey man, that's pretty cool. I'm going to do that too.
So right then I, I just ran out and started bawling in my car because it's, it's, you know, that was the immediate ripple that I could see right then. [00:08:00] But. Just because that guy who I didn't know was watching me. There's always somebody watching you somewhere, which is, which is why I try to get people to share stories like this.
Because again, it's not about getting credit for it. It's about potentially inspiring somebody else. To do something amazing for somebody else that you know sometimes they can pay you back sometimes they can't but that's the beauty of it you don't do it expecting to get paid back
Do you have any hobbies? Nothing super exciting. Uh, we like to watch British TV mysteries on Brit box, PBS masterpiece and acorn TV. . Some of our current favorites are Murdoch mysteries. Ms. Scarlet and the duke and inspector Lewis.
How does your work give you meaning in your life? I can't wait to wake up in the morning to start today. I sometimes feel like I'm just along for the ride and living this life. And I can't wait to see what God has planned for me [00:09:00] that day.
Tell me about one meaningful person in your life. Gotta be my wife. She is my biggest fan, my best cheerleader. And I couldn't do anything of what I do without her.
Are there any events in your life that have changed your behavior?
A couple of years ago, we were doing a photo session for a family that had multiple kids. , one was in a wheelchair. Another use the crutches. They showed up 15 minutes early. Not just for their photo sessions, but for their canvas reveal also. Since that time, I've really tried to make it a point to be early for appointments, not just on time. And, and I don't always succeed with that. And if you're listening and I'll have showed up late, I do apologize. I am trying to get better.
And that's a constant. Thing i think about all the time because i just i think it shows respect and i don't want to disrespect people who have set aside time for me
As we start to wrap up a little bit, here's a few quick [00:10:00] questions. They may not be quick answers, but here we go. If you could go back and give your 18 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Aye. Pretty much answer these types of questions, these type of questions. Um, I answered them the same way. Do you
As we start to wrap up a little bit, here's a few quick questions. They may not be quick answers, but here we go. If you could go back and give your 18 year old self one piece of advice, what would it be?
I tend to answer this question in questions like this The same way. Whenever they're asked. I would not change anything. I wouldn't go back and tell myself anything because anything I did. Tell myself to the 18 year old may. , that would potentially change something along the way of me being here. Right this second.
Where I am right now doing what I'm doing. And I wouldn't change that. I like everything the way [00:11:00] it is. I like being where I am and doing what I'm doing. So I would not give one piece of advice. But if I had to, it would be, uh, when this Yahoo and AOL thing come out, buy tons of stock as much as you can.
What are three other podcasts you recommend to my audience and why?
I tend to gravitate towards podcasts that are relevant to something going on in my life at that time. Currently podcasts about podcasting. One is podcast business school. Uh, another is a school of podcasting and social media marketing. , to try to try to get a leg up and try to get one more set of headphones, listening to what we're doing here.
I would also like to recommend a few of the people to check out and follow and consume their content. First is, and this is in no particular order and I do hate naming people because it leaves other people out. And I don't want to do that.[00:12:00] , so many people have gotten me to this point where I am, wherever that is.
But a couple people I think are good. Follows are Giovanni Marsico. , he had an event a couple months back that I attended and it was called changemaker. And the tagline is change yourself. Change the world. He's got a lot of, a lot of good content, a lot of feedback, a lot of, just a lot of great input.
And, , I'd definitely recommend him. Chris Winfield and Jen Gottlieb. , they again, have a lot of great information. One of the things I like about what they do is, hope H O P E. Help one person every day. And that's just a good motto to live by. I think it's just something good to try to keep in mind.
Something to take action on. Gary Vaynerchuk. Positivity and empathy with a lot of. Um, SAS, if you will, the messages he [00:13:00] has are oftentimes so good and so spot on and he will give you a kick in the, whatever you need. A good kick in.
John Ruhlin. Giftology he literally wrote the book on meaningful giving. Spoiler alert. It's not giving gift cards at Christmas and on birthdays.
Is there anything you'd like to add? Yes, there is something I would like to add. Start with a little acronym, D O S E dose. Those is an acronym for the major chemicals in our brain that influence our happiness, the brain's happy chemicals. These chemicals are dopamine oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphins.
On both the biological and a metal level. The release of these chemicals makes us happy. This happiness leads us to want more happiness. These chemicals make us want more of the same chemical. That is why giving can get addicting. We love the way it feels and when we're [00:14:00] able to do something for someone else while expecting nothing in return.
I'm asking you to share your stories of giving. On social media, to your friends, neighbors, and family. Don't keep them to yourself. You never know who is listening. While some might think you're bragging and saying, look at me. I can promise you, there is someone watching and saying that's beautiful.
I think I might try something like that.
Another thing. If you are on social media at all, please try to support your friends and their businesses online. It takes less than a second. They hit that like comment or share button. Maybe when you do that, the mysterious algorithm allows that post to be seen by four or five more people. Maybe one of them really needed to see that post for whatever reason. Maybe they have been looking for that particular type of business to fix up some things around their house.
Maybe that particular quote you shared on that particular day, stuck at court with that particular person who needed to see. [00:15:00] Maybe that person is then inspired to do something that changes their life, which then changes the lives of others. That's how ripples work.
The last questions. Are you planning any changes in the future? As far as your charitable contributions go.
I'd like to expand the amount of people I reach and hope I can inspire just one person every day. Is there anything people can do to help you help others? Share this podcast share kindness. Create and share ripples. Sponsor this podcast. How could we find you online?
I will put all the links to everything you need in the show notes. Thank you for listening.
Matt: Aye. Pretty much answer these types of questions, these type of questions. Um, I answered them the same way. [00:16:00] Do you?
Asking the right questions, leading the conversation the way it lets them. Allow them to share both.
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