“Let the world feel your heartbeat”
are the words my dear friend Tim McDonald lives by, and a tattoo he has on his arm. By letting the world feel your heartbeat, you inspire others to share theirs.
Tim believes that we may never know the impact that the ripples we make today are going to have on people, but we just need to trust that it’s so. We need to understand that we will affect some people and never hear about it and the only person we can change during our lifetime is ourselves; no one else.
And, our actions create an impact in the world, even though we might not be able to tangibly put our finger on it or set our eyes on it to see that it happened. “Being good to people,” Tim shares, “doesn’t take a world-changing event. It can be as simple as a smile, opening the door, or just listening to someone who needs to know they are not alone.” Listening is becoming more and more important to not only our own heartbeat but being open to have meaningful dialogues with anyone who needs someone right now.
Tim is a true creator and visionary in our world. He is passionate about connecting people with purpose. It’s been said that Tim is ahead of his time. In his high school years, he yearned to be a free spirit and did not conform to the expectations placed on him. He built a community for community managers before most people had even heard of the term. This led to his being a pioneer in establishing community management at The Huffington Post.
Sometimes Life Makes Different Plans for Us
Tim experiences life on the edges, connecting deeply with people and building long-term, purposeful relationships. He brings many lessons to his creations in the world that he openly speaks and writes about. By dealing with weighty issues, he has found meaning and is doing his life’s work.
When he was diagnosed with stage IV cancer during the middle of the pandemic, his work took an even more meaningful turn. He wrote, spoke, and brought people together like never before. His generosity, rawness and openness inspired many of us to see the seeds he planted throughout his life come into full bloom.
So many people continue to openly share with Tim how he touches their lives, and it has been incredible to witness the ripples of his generous heartbeat. He has become an ambassador for Fighting Colorectal Cancer and encourages everyone to get a colonoscopy.
Tim’s outlook is infectious, in the healthiest way possible. He openly talks about fear and shares that:
“Having stage IV colon cancer helped me see what’s possible. How I used fear in a way to have a healthy mindset that led to a significant reduction in my cancer in three months. I’ve taken years of conditioning and unlearned it by looking deep inside myself to live life on my terms for most of the last six years. I’ve gone from going through the motions to seeing everything as an adventure again.”
Just by being who he is, Tim guides us to something that every human being yearns for—just to belong to something greater than ourselves. That is the essence of community.
When you can provide that sense of belonging to somebody, you’re filling a need for them, and you’re getting something in return because they will invest in what you’re doing. And together, you will create something that’s greater than either of you could have made on your own with pure love.
Tim’s way of living reminds me of Poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s encouragement,
“To be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue.
Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
What ripples are you ready to unleash in 2022 and beyond? What does creating community mean to you?