By: Niki Shadrow Snyder
- NS: Tell us about yourself and what you do? LL: I am a traveler, producer, motivational speaker, and seeker.
- NS: How did you personally move the needle in 2020? LL: I would like to think that I moved the needle by inspiring people to be kind. We live in a topsy-turvy world and more often than not, we are bombarded with negativity and hate. What would happen if we disavowed the hate and instead concentrated on the good? And there is so much good out there, we just have to stop and connect to it.
- NS: How did you deal with the stress in the world in 2020? LL: I meditated a lot! And I also reminded myself, that people throughout history have suffered and bounced back. Think of World War II. The holocaust. Rwanda. If they can do it, then so can we.
- NS: Do you have any advice for your younger self? LL: Everything will work itself out. Please keep on going and I promise that if you surround yourself with good people, they will lift you up when you don’t feel like you have the strength to go on. And one day you will use that newfound strength to help others to be their most magnificent selves!
- NS: What did you do in 2020 that you’re most passionate about? LL: Kids need us. They have most definitely needed us during these past 9 months of seeming despair. So I would say that I am most passionate about the free online speeches and fireside chats that I have done with kids across the country and the world. Inspiring them, in my own small way, to look at the good in our world.
- NS: What was the worst part of 2020 for you? LL: The worst part of 2020 was most definitely the increasing polarization that is occurring in American society. I was hoping that one silver lining of the pandemic was that people would come together in the face of this existential threat that affects us all the same way. Unfortunately it seems to have had the opposite effect and that’s worrying on a societal level.
- NS: What was the best part of 2020 for you? LL: Remembering to love. Remembering to live. And most importantly, remembering that we are all in this together. All of us.
- NS: What does success mean to you? LL: Success means waking up in the morning with a purpose and a direction. Success means taking that purpose and direction and using it to effect lives positively.
- NS: What causes are important to you? LL: As a kid, I was bullied mercilessly and felt profoundly alone. These experiences shaped the way I see the world and how I want to be in it. With that said, I am deeply committed to making people, and especially kids, feel like they have value and that they matter. Because they do.
- NS: Do you think the world right now needs to be influenced by what they can get or what they can give in the middle of this pandemic? LL: A wise man once said to me, “Leon, if we live without serving others, we are not truly living”. I have never forgotten these words, and although I personally don’t follow them all the time, they are a constant reminder to us all, that to give is the truest of wealth.
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