Moments That Redefine Culture

There are moments in our lives that stand alone. As ill-prepared as we might be, they happen anyway. These moments represent a coming-of-age, leaving change in their wake. They are a dividing line between the way things used to be and the way things are now.

In these moments, people rally around a cause and culture as we know it is redefined.

These moments unite us.

Rosa Parks refuses to move from her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus

photo courtesy of Creative Commons

photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Neil Armstrong places his left foot on the surface of the moon

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Two terrorist-hijacked airplanes are used as weapons of war


Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Martin Luther King, Jr. stands and delivers his dream

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

These events create icons, people forever associated with their acts of bravery, their dedication to a cause, and their vision for the future.

I find it fitting that, on the eve of celebrating one of these icons, Martin Luther King, Jr., I celebrate the anniversary of such a moment in my life.

You Make My Life Rich

If you’ve followed this blog for any length of time, you’re familiar with the story that led me on a journey to uncover the depth and purpose of a truly rich life.

It was the night before my beloved Aunt Trish passed away after a battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. As a nurse helped her get comfortable, my aunt mustered enough energy to grab a big breath and say these words to her caretaker, “You make my life easy.”

It was the nurse’s reply that changed everything: “You make my life rich.”

Like a pebble dropped into a motionless pond, those words created ripples that have turned into life-altering waves.

Those five words began a movement. They have inspired a community of people to understand the fullness buried deep within their meaning.

You make my life rich.

Today, those words are challenging people to redefine what it means to be rich, what it means to live a rich life. People are understanding that richness has far more to do with their heart than the size of their wallet. They are living gratefully, giving generously, and walking humbly. Thousands of lives are being touched in the process.

The fullness of this story is found in my book, Redefine Rich, but I’m not here to talk about that today.

I’m here to introduce you to a nurse, the nurse whose words sparked this entire journey.

Just last month, I had the privilege to meet the woman whose words changed my life.

My Aunt Trish's nurse, Melanie Fogelman, and me at a book signing in December

My Aunt Trish’s nurse, Melanie Fogelman, and me at a book signing in December

Your Rich Life

To many, Melanie Fogleman is someone who cared for them during a difficult time. And culture might say that she’s just a nurse. But to me and countless others, she is the catalyst of a movement, this movement.

Her authenticity in delivering those words to my aunt eight years ago, sent something through me that compelled me to act. Her words puzzled me so much that I had to completely redefine everything I thought about what I knew.

So today, I want to celebrate Melanie Fogelman. And I’d invite you to join me by sharing this story. As much as Melanie wasn’t looking for this attention, sometimes life has different plans. The common denominator for people like Martin Luther King, Jr. is living out of their passion. That’s what movements are made of.

And whether I planned for it to happen this way or not, this movement is happening. People are redefining rich from Canada to Australia.

But here’s the takeaway.

This isn’t completely about Melanie or a book or a movement; It’s about you.

When you embrace the challenge of any great visionary, it changes you as a person. You begin to think differently and, in turn, live differently.

Your words, your actions, your life has the power to continue a movement, or perhaps, begin one of its own.

It simply requires two things: belief and action.

So, today, I would challenge you to believe that your life could be rich, that your legacy could be great. And then, I would invite you to join us.

Your rich life awaits.


Join us in taking the Live Richly Challenge:

The Live Richly Challenge is a charge for you to join us in redefining rich in your life. If you’ve read the book, we’re challenging you to share it with others. And, we’re offering the books at 60% off when ordered in bulk. Additionally, we’re inviting you to share with us how you’re investing in others using the hashtag #RedefineRich. Lastly, we asking you to invite others along.

Culture doesn’t change instantly, it happens one person at a time. And it starts with you.

Click Here For More Information

You can learn more about the full story in the book, Redefine Rich

Redefine Rich

Redefine Rich

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3 Responses to Moments That Redefine Culture

  1. Jon Stallings January 17, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    Good stuff Matt. – Your story shows how just a brief moment in time can have a huge impact on our culture. Rosa Parks always said she was trying to start something she was just tired. But look at what it started. You overhearing your Aunt’s nurse.

    Little moments do matter.

    • Matt Ham January 18, 2015 at 6:20 am #

      Jon – in some way, I think little moments ARE the big moments. Thanks for the confirmation, brother! Have a great day.

  2. dink6016 January 18, 2015 at 3:54 pm #

    Awww ~ my word last year ~ “kairos” ~ was a reminder to me about the defining moments, opportune times! Love that she was a part of the release.