We are Not Invincible

“Be the change you want to see in the world” – M. Ghandi

Back in mid-October, I began writing the post below that I’d like to share with you today….


Today, I had surgery to remove a tumor from my back. The doc says it’s a lipoma (benign, soft-tissue, more cosmetic than anything and not life-threatening at all, but recovery is 6 weeks, thanks for asking). This honker was pretty big—6+ centimeters, which means it hurt getting it out. As I lay here recovering in bed, typing this post, I can’t help but think of my own frailty—and mortality.

There once was a day when I considered myself invincible. That day is not today and it is long gone. Today, not only is my back sore, but I am reminded of past injuries which persist, as I slow down long enough to feel the nagging pain: my damaged big toe (shattered cartilage from a fall) and an undiagnosed lateral meniscus tear in my right knee from a bouldering accident.

I am not invincible.

Today is also my 35th birthday. I’ve often joked with friends that one’s health is all down-hill after 27. (27 was the year of my knee injury.)

Today, I find myself asking myself why I want to recover from this, why I press on, and why we all should want to when we get injured. What motivates the push? Let’s collectively make the answer bigger than we are used to admitting:

We want to change the world.

Now, before you go ape on me, I’d like to point out the obvious: every person has a unique place, opportunities, and abilities to make an impact. But we all can make a difference, however small, and collectively those can add up to greater change. For many of us, that impact starts with our spouses, our families, our co-workers, and our communities.

But it doesn’t stop there. Justice, poverty, world hunger, access to clean water, education, domestic violence, and more. Maybe there’s an issue that hits home for you.


About a year ago, my wife fell in love with an organization called Trades of Hope. It’s a global clothing accessory and lifestyle brand that works directly with small businesses in impoverished areas around the world who employ women and pay them fair wages. Many of the products are really beautiful and knowing that they were made by human hands, by someone receiving the value of her wage, makes them even more so.

Slowly but surely, she’s been convincing me that working for Trades of Hope as a Compassionate Entrepreneur (basically, a local sales rep, kinda like how Pampered Chef works) is just one, small way that our family can be a cause for positive change in our world. (If you want to actually check out some of Trades’ jewelry and maybe purchase something, click here to go to my wife’s store page.)

I challenge you today to take a small step towards making a difference for an issue that means something to you. And remember, take care of yourselves out there. So that you can change the world.

Let us know in the comments below what you’ve decided to do today—and this year—to make even a small difference in our world.

Jay is the father of four. He is a musician, beer brewer and climber.

2 thoughts on “We are Not Invincible

  1. I haven’t yet this year made a conscious decision to make a particular difference in the world, but this post does ring true for me. i was married the year i turned 27 years old, and that’s about when i began to come to grips with my own mortality. i stopped playing most sports, sticking to individual, controlled physical activity. one the most difficult realizations for me is the fact that i feel wiser (or more accurately, less foolish) every year of life, while my body is actually beginning to malfunction. in fact, as our bodies break down, our minds generally, with some exceptions, continue to expand and change and grow. then, by the time you realize you’d like to affect the world in some way, you’re too physically broken and exhausted to do it comfortably. so yeah, man, keep fighting, get well, and don’t let your mind run away from your body.

    Liked by 1 person

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