Benard’s Story

A critical doer controls what is theirs to control 

A critical doer capitalizes on opportunities to be better 

I recently came across an inspiring story of a critical doer named Benard Didacus Opiyo who lives in a small village in Kenya called Uradi.  Benard saw a need to increase the level of education in his village, particularly among the girls who in general did not receive the same level of education as the boys.

Benard and some friends did some serious critical thinking about how to improve the future of their village through education.  When they had thought logically and deeply enough for meaningful action to begin, they did some serious critical doing and mobilized an effort in their village to start a new school.  Before going further, take a look at this page from their blog…my words couldn’t do justice in telling the story as well as those who are owning it and living it.

Uradi Paradise Blog

This story is inspiring to me and it highlights a recurring theme I’ve shared with you previously, and every critical doer knows it:  the only future we have is the one we’re willing to make for ourselves.

After reading this post, I want you to look back through Benard’s blog post and see how strategically this critical doer attacked the problem.  First of all, there was critical thinking that determined precisely what the problem was…education, and equal access to it.  In doing this, the village could capitalize on an opportunity to be better. (Albert Einstein:  “If I had an hour to solve a problem I’d spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.”)

Second, Benard laid out 4 action steps that began with action verbs.  The first was “convince” and the next 3 were “commit”…each specific, actionable, and measurable.  The verbs were applied to actions within his own community.  In doing this, he made a community problem a community responsibility, and ultimately a community opportunity…and controlled what was theirs to control.

With demonstrated success using the resources they had, the village established credibility that outside resources have a reasonable expectation of producing a positive result.  A critical doer knows that credibility is earned, and will take the necessary steps to capitalize on opportunity and control what is theirs to control in order to establish it.

A critical doer also knows this:  credibility is a function of doing.  There are many legitimate needs, but not all proponents of them are critical doers willing to establish credibility that leads others to take the leap of faith that investment of resources will produce a tangible benefit.

Here’s your challenge:  all of us have a situation either personally or professionally where we may have been looking for an outside solution when there are a number of existing opportunities to be better, and those opportunities have a number of things we can control.  Learn from Benard’s story and craft your own strategic narrative that will pave the way to the bright future you can build for yourself.  It’s what a critical doer would…do!


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Updated: December 28, 2014 — 3:36 pm