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Clinton School

This week I gave a speech at the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock. An audience member asked me what effect volunteering has on living a more heroic life. The answer is a lot.

We need to broaden, “you are what you eat.” Let’s make it, “you become what you consume.”

When we consume extreme political talk shows we view the world as antagonistic and hateful. Watching MTV Cribs makes us disappointed in our homes. Soap operas make everyone out to be devious and manipulative.

On the other hand, volunteering generally exposes you to a world more concerned with survival than Prada. It increases your awareness of your own privileges, freedoms, and opportunities. It leads to greater gratitude which has a host of personal and health benefits.

So yes, volunteering is a great way to be heroic.

But more broadly, what are you consuming? What media? What experiences? What people? What do you casually see and hear and intentionally watch and listen to each day. If you become what you consume, it may be time to take a good look at your diet.