Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. —Howard Thurman, Violence Unveiled
As a child growing up in Burkina Faso, François dreamed of becoming president. He wanted to be an agent of change and make a big impact on others’ lives. In college, he found himself drawn to the study of sociology, because he loved learning about people. However, after completing a master’s degree in sociology the only work he could find in his country was teaching, and he did not feel called to teach. His sister encouraged him to immigrate to the United States. Finding work in the United States proved to be equally difficult, at least initially. He began washing dishes in a restaurant. Over time, the owner of the restaurant entrusted him with more and more responsibility. He soon learned how to prepare desserts and was eventually given funding to attend the French Culinary Institute in New York City. When asked to describe his life’s calling, he sums it up in two words: baker and lover.
I met François in 2013 when I interviewed him for a film series I produce called Lives Explored. In this series, we feature stories of deeply engaged persons from all walks of life reflecting upon what gives their lives purpose and meaning. Click on any of the following tiles to view more: