Life’s Ingredients

“Wasn’t that just a shame,” asked someone after I shared the story of my childhood homelessness. “Not at all. It made me who I am, and I like this person. So that wasn’t a shame; it was in service to me.”

I’ve found a temptation among people working to change the world to think that their lives are irrelevant to their missions. Working with 1000s of folks over the years, its become obvious to me that our lives are what motivates our movements.

Malcolm X once wrote, “Why am I as I am? To understand that of any person, his whole life, from birth must be reviewed. All of our experiences fuse into our personality. Everything that ever happened to us is an ingredient.”

Whether we see ourselves as oppressed, uplifting, oppressive, or downtrodden, everything that we’ve done informs everything that we do. From our infanthood through to now, wherever you are in your life, its all related.

What are the ingredients in your life? Here are a few questions to think about.

3 Questions About Life’s Ingredients

  • If your life is a recipe, what have you been cooking or baking?
  • What ingredients in your life have been spicy, bitter, sweet, or sour?
  • Are there places, people, or events in your life that have changed your entire meal?
Explore your life’s ingredients and let me know what you find! 
Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to Learn more at!

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