A silly little thing that takes over the world—to me, this is the simplest definition of a disruptor. My guest today is Becky Douglas, and her “silly little thing,” which began at her kitchen table with a handful of friends, has gone on to change the lives of thousands of individuals in India and beyond.

After a family tragedy disrupted her life, Becky, a mother of nine children, found herself in India on the path to adopting a beloved tenth child. While there she was appalled to see the prevalence of beggars on the street, due in large part to those with leprosy being shunned and having no other avenue for survival. Becky had assumed, as many Americans do, that leprosy was no longer a problem in the world, but after only ten days in India, Becky knew that somebody needed to do something to help.

“When I got home I couldn’t sleep. Those images just haunted me at night. And I remember, I just kept thinking, gosh, why doesn’t somebody do something? Are there really millions of people that live this way? So finally when…a night after no sleep, I thought, we were somebody. Do something.”

And “do something” she did. Becky started Rising Star Outreach to serve the leprosy-affected of India, and, despite not even knowing how to use email at the time, Becky and her friends managed to start something that has gone on to help 30,000 people in 62 leper colonies in less than twenty years.

That’s disruption. A silly little thing that changed many, many, worlds.

Join me as I listen to Becky explain the amazing path her organization blazed, from a seat at her kitchen table clear to the halls of the UN. Becky’s belief that “change is possible” shines throughout her story, and as she was willing to expand and grow her talents to meet the demands of the situation she truly became someone able to do something.

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Takeaways from this episode:

  • When you feel that someone should really do something about a problem, that someone may be you.
  • Great things can come from personal tragedy.
  • It’s okay to start something even if you don’t have a clear vision of where you’re going. The desire to help and do something is enough for today.

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