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I am not special

On impact, inspiration and greatness (Part 1 of 5).

There is one theme that featured heavily in the tributes we heard and read about Cameron after his passing: Inspiration and greatness.

What makes someone inspirational? Working tirelessly to make the world a better place, Cam talked often about the impact we can have on the people around us, and the flow on effect to the rest of the world, and was particularly anxious about how to measure impact to know he was making a difference. But Cam did not like being told he was inspirational.

“I hate inspiration,” he would say. “Show me ACTION! And show me impact!” 

Cam believed inspiration was nothing without action. What is the point of just feeling good about people out in the world trying to make it better? How can we be inspired not just to feel good, but to launch ourselves into action as well?

Cam wanted people to know that he was not special. He hated the idea of being put up on a pedestal. This was not just because he was humble, but because he was worried that if we elevated him to a status he didn’t feel was warranted, we might use him as an excuse to justify not trying to do the big things. “Oh, yeah but that was Sensei, or that was Cameron. He was special. I can’t do that. I’m not him.”

No, we are not him. But that doesn’t mean we can’t do amazing things too. He saw himself as just an ordinary human who tried really hard to do good things, something he believed that all of us are capable of. 

Cam believed in challenging impossible ideas. Big crazy things you wouldn’t even dream of, like climbing a lava spewing volcano in the middle of an eruption. In a wheelchair. And small subtle things, that are still really, really hard – like not complaining about first world problems, and practicing kindness in all conditions. Anything is possible, if you act. To quote his own words, “The one impossible thing I believe is actually impossible is living to see the impact of my work. Impossible, because I don’t plan on stop trying to make an impact until I stop breathing.”

Cam was inspirational, was special, and was great – but only if we are inspired by his greatness to act. What can we do to make a difference that matters?  How can we make the time we have count? Feel inspired. And then ACT! “Cape up!” he would say. Game on.

This is Part 1 of 5 of Teresa’s eulogy for Cam. Thank you for reading. Click here to return to the introduction (Unfinished Symphonies).

Want to learn more about Cameron Gill’s journey, his legacy, and his legacy projects? CLICK HERE for Cam’s official Facebook legacy page. We have heaps more of his story to share, so like and follow to stay updated.

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