CAC Executive Director, Tammi Pitzen, “on stage” at the 2014 Winter Fundraising Gala

By Tammi Pitzen

As a young child I always dreamed that I would do something great with my life. Not the “you do good work kind of thing”, but the grandiose Hollywood kind of thing. I was never sure what that would be — but was certain that it would happen.

When I hit my forties, I began to re-evaluate whether I was going to do any great thing. I began playing back in my mind the events that impacted me the most and really looking to see if I could recreate those moments and turn them into the big grandiose thing.

Here is what I learned:

1)   First and foremost, grandiose things are over rated. They tend to come big, but fade quickly. I decided that I wanted my “big thing” to come in small unnoticed steps that linger for a life time.

2)  We really can accomplish so much more when we work together, than when we try to go it alone. This is true in every situation that I can think of. In fact, I can not think of one exception.

3)  Every single day you should dance like there is no one watching. Seriously. I learned this from watching my five year old son. He is happiest when he is dancing. And soon I find myself wanting to dance with him and then, no matter what mood I started with, I always end up happy. When I look around, everyone within eyesight is also happy and laughing.

4)  You should not worry about a legacy.  Worry about what you are doing right now. What you do now is what matters. What are you doing now that matters?

5)  Terrible awful things happen to the best people. It really isn’t about what is fair or what is right. It is about what you do next. Do you choose to stay exactly where the terrible awful thing left you or do you choose to rise above and beyond?

6)  It is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It is a sign that you are human. It really goes back to what we can accomplish together versus what we can do alone.

7)  Never underestimate the small act of kindness and the impact that it can have on a person.

So many people will read this and think that I have let go of my childhood dream of doing something grandiose. I may never make it to Hollywood. However, I am doing “BIG” things.

I work quietly and sometimes loudly on behalf of small, vulnerable people.

What kind of world would we live in if every person’s “Big” thing was taking care of children?

Many people will read this and I think, “I can’t do that. I can’t see what you see.”  The truth of the matter is that everyone is seeing it. The trick is to recognize what you are seeing. Reference the above list and look at point number two. And I ask again, “What kind of world would we live in, if every person’s “big” thing was to act on behalf of child abuse victims.”

What if we all worked to give a “BIG” voice to those who are unheard?