People are unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people may accuse you of selfish motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you may win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and transparency make you vulnerable.
Be honest and transparent anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People who really want help may attack you if you help them.
Help them anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you may get hurt.
Give the world your best anyway.
Written on the wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta, India
Edward and Bella did return to Forks on occasion, spending time with their family and friends as they worked closely with not only the food bank but other regional charities and humanitarian efforts.
Bella was able to visit with Angela during their visits and was very happy to reestablish her friendship with her, yet their relationship grew distant when Angela married and moved to Alaska. Over time they lost touch, never to reconnect.
Edward and Bella would spend time with the Volturi family on their visits too. Jane's teenagers were enamored with the handsome couple that traveled the world helping others. The honorable judge had even made them a belated wedding cake to celebrate the happy news of their marriage. Edward and Bella laughed until they cried at Jane's cheek when she brought out the cake with huge fanfare. It was adorned with blue frosting with a yellow smiley face on the top.
Bella had no interest in wasting a second of her life trying to reestablish contact with the Newtons, but she did think about Ben Cheney from time to time. After moving to Las Vegas, he had been killed in a car accident. Charlie told her that many believed he ran away when Angela decided to marry another man. No one would ever know the truth.
Bella and Edward enjoyed their Forks home on their visits, yet despite how full their life felt surrounded by their friends and loved ones, Africa continued to call to them, pleading for their return.
And they did.
They spent much of their lives working on the Maasai Mara.
They invested heavily in the research of solar-powered drinking systems. As their research expanded so did their success, and the improved designs soon found their way into many parts of the world where the sun was plentiful and a clean water source was essential.
Edward and Bella remained in contact with Emmett and would often travel to Oputi and other Habitat for Humanity sites to share their progress with others. They were especially happy on the day that they returned to Uganda for his wedding to Renate. They fell in love while they shared close quarters after the Egyptian uprising, discovering that they could experience happiness in sharing their lives not only with each other, but with those they dedicated their purpose.
Edward and Bella continued to till the earth alongside the Maasai and worked their sacred land with the wish that the effort put into the dusty ground would be bountiful. They devised new irrigation methods using the local climate to feed the local population more readily.
They installed hand pumps at drying wells and dug boreholes using primitive methods when no other options were available. Villagers across the African Savanna heard of their dedication to helping others. Even as the Laibon's spirit rested after years of advising the couple and admiring their advances, Edward and Bella continued to sense his guidance and wisdom.
They believed that he continued to remain in their presence. And while Bella and Edward never saw their lioness again, they continued to believe that Renee was watching over them too.
Bella would often look over the Mara and remember the feeling of peace that settled over her the moment that the lioness greeted her loved ones. As the years passed, that peace never wavered. Surrounded by the love and support of her husband, she understood that her life was exactly as it should be.
As time marched forward, political strife and internal conflicts made clean water an even more valuable resource, and many asked the Cullens for their help to install powerful pumps, providing more water for those most in need.
Due to the remote locations of many villages, solar panels were created to work with the advanced water pumping systems to create the energy to run them. As they installed these systems in remote locations, Bella and Edward saw the opportunity to train the women in the villages. They had been relegated to poverty or prostitution without the opportunities for progress, and Edward and Bella provided the training to operate the hand pumps and mechanisms that ran the advanced pumping systems.
Progress came in the form of knowledge, and soon those women were teaching others new skills. The warmth was branching out over those that once felt helpless … but they were helpless no more.
Edward and Bella improved sanitation facilities in the communities most in need, which inspired change in the hygiene practices of millions. Over time, new health initiatives were enacted, halting the pervasive spread of disease and deadly parasites in many villages once plagued by illness and early death.
The new health initiatives inspired change and decreased the occurrence of acute malnutrition in the most affected areas. Training was enacted in remote villages in a grassroot effort, which translated to thousands of jobs for those that possessed nothing and no hope for a future.
The warmth of the purpose and the passion of a few generated new ideas, new ways that would reach far into the lives of those in the future.
As the years turned into decades, the couple's hearts were filled with the love they experienced volunteering at the various orphanages dedicated to treating children with AIDS. Edward and Bella were surrounded by little, abandoned angels not able to remain on the earth long, yet the special stars burned brightly while they could, continuing to warm Bella and Edward with their fleeting presence and happiest of memories.
Esme, Carlisle, Alice and Jasper spent many visits caring for the little ones. Esme and Alice were instrumental in donating and raising tens of millions of dollars to building new facilities and providing the most advanced medical care, which prolonged lives and inspired medical advances in the way children received treatments.
They hoped that one day saying goodbye to the innocent and the ailing would dissolve into humanity's heartbreaking past.
Grandpa Charlie was a favorite when he would visit for months at a time, filled to the brim with overwhelming joy he felt as little hands played with his mustache and tiny voices begged him to return again soon.
Some would be waiting for him the following year, while most watched his return from above as they received hugs from the gentle, loving woman who waited for Grandpa Charlie too.
When he felt Renee's arms wrap around him, he knew that he had finally found peace in the embrace he had missed for so long. Together, they would wait and watch.
Knowing that great things were about to happen.
"Edward, I'm telling you, it's her! I thought so immediately after seeing her picture in the newspaper last week. Hurry, it's coming on now … "
The middle aged couple stood in their research center in Kichwa Tembo, waiting for the broadcast to begin.
"Thank you for joining us for this special edition of World News Now. We are honored to have the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize here with us today. Frederick Banting was thirty-two when he was awarded the Nobel Laureate in Physiology and Medicine for the discovery of Insulin in 1923. The amazing young woman joining us today has just become the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient in history for her discovery of the cure for AIDS. At twenty-eight years old, she has changed the course of medicine forever. Joining us now is Renee Hale … "
"That's her, Edward!"
"Jesus, I think you're right … "
"So tell us a little about yourself, Ms. Hale. What inspired you to forge this brilliant path in medicine?"
"My mother, Rosalie, has always played an important part in shaping who I've become. She dedicates her life to helping others and I have many of her self-help books to thank for the ideas that shaped my motivations while I was growing up."
Recollection dawned on Bella's face. Finding Your Purpose. Rosalie Hale. She felt Edward squeeze her right hand in response. He had made the connection to the last name just as she did. They found the coincidence almost too unbelievable. It is such a small world, that connections overlapped in such unexpected ways, intersections of purpose as souls were embraced in effusive light.
"But I will say that the most inspiring and profound experience in my life occurred when I was a young girl. It was an experience that shaped not only my dreams for the future, but how I viewed the world around me. It shaped every goal I set out to achieve, and will always remain the experience that I will credit for inspiring me to achieve what I have done."
The interviewer smiled at the young woman sitting before her.
"Would you care to elaborate for those watching?"
Renee smiled and nodded her head in response.
"I was five years old and visiting Disneyland with my family. It was the morning after the Indonesian Tsunami, and there were humanitarians in the hotel lobby collecting donations from the hotel guests so that they could bring items with them to the airport, to help survivors … "
Edward and Bella felt as though the beating of their hearts was shaking the ground beneath them, a sequence of jarring realizations destabilizing what they believed to be possible – beyond the grandest dreams for their reality.
"I made my mother run to our hotel room with me so that I could give them my favorite blanket to give to another child who would need it in Indonesia. I remember running after them in the parking lot. As they were about to leave, these larger-than-life, brave people … who were going to travel across the world to a dangerous place to help complete strangers. They heard me tell my mother that I wanted to be just like the tall, brave man. He knelt down to talk with me … "
She drew a deep breath before continuing.
" … He told me that I could start with little things … that if I made little sparks, I could watch them grow. The beautiful woman with him told me that I was brave for giving away my blanket. I began to feel brave and believe in brave things. Their actions and words became like Prometheus and their gift of that fire inspired me to hear them. I listened. Their words stayed in my heart, drove my ambitions, and propelled my dreams forward despite the probability of failure. At that very young age, I was inspired by the power of believing in myself, of the fire I sensed within me, and the belief that I could make a difference. I am sitting with you today because of that experience, so long ago … "
The magnitude of her disclosure awed them into silence. Edward and Bella stood motionless and overcome, their beings ensnared within the magical endowment of the precious moment that had just been bestowed on them.
They never imagined the enormity and importance a single spark could weave within the texture of the hopes and dreams of humanity. They never thought that they would witness the engine of change and the power that one small spark could ignite.
It was impossible to imagine that something witnessed so long ago could have grown into this, the warmth spreading out into the world on such a magnificent scale, burning down unreachable barriers and decimating the impossible … glowing embers and larger fires beneath the feet of progress and the dreams of humankind.
Edward lifted Bella's wrist to kiss the word that had defined their lives and had inspired others, the happiness of his tears flowing from his eyes unbound beneath the beautiful reality that this fire could just be the beginning. If one cure was found, another could follow.
They would watch, wait and hope that the future would be just as bright.
They would watch the tide of their actions continue to surge forward, coating the direction of lives to come and birthing the surfaces of decisions far into the future, the rhythm of their burning devotion to others and each other, transcending the simple sum of what their lives had been.
They'd just witnessed the world change from a single spark. Now anything was possible. Anything.
Finis. Scintillate. Begin a new chapter in your own story.
One tiny spark really can change the world. What will be yours? Do you narrowly define your talents or your dreams? Do you believe in the depth of your abilities, in what can be if you try, even if it may be a difficult choice? Do you listen to your hearts compass? Is your soul asleep?
Wake it. Spark!
If you have a moment, I ask that you read the prologue again. His speech was for you, dear reader, as was my intention behind choosing the title of this story. I thank each of you for giving this story a chance and for allowing me the opportunity to tell it. May your future sparkle … and may you be warmed and comforted by the brilliance that I know you can create. You will, my friends.Thank you for sharing this journey with me. I hope that I was able to touch and inspire you in some way. By allowing me to use this forum to create and share, you have inspired ME. *hugs you all*
Brightest of blessings to each and every one of you.