Tribute to Norton Hindley
The last image sent my way was of Norton walking through a door into a Hogan near Gallup, New Mexico. He was surrounded by Navajo families with a bigger than life smile and the light of the doorway surrounding him. The light reminded me of a halo and perhaps a symbolic message about his next journey. I looked at this picture several times and smiled at his expression of pure joy. His enthusiasm and passion for his fellow human beings is an example for all to follow.
Norton has left an indelible mark on my heart and soul. He was a person deeply committed to a vision of making the world a better place. Our chance meeting in 2014 paved the way to help the people of the Navajo Nation. With a big smile on his face, Norton said to me that he believed it was his duty to serve the oppressed and forgotten people of the world, and in particular, the Navajo. Lighting for Literacy would be the mechanism to make this transformation happen. Four months later, we found ourselves living this vision by working to provide solar lighting systems for four Navajo families on the reservation. His contributions of time and resources have served as great inspiration to many. Because of Norton, these acts of human kindness have brought benefit as far away as Haiti and Africa. At this writing, our individual and collective efforts have reached over twenty countries and brightened the futures of youth around the globe.
Norton understood that one of the only true riches a human has is the deep human connection we share with those around us! He knew that the key to helping the Navajo must start with creating that human connection. He discovered a passion for teaching the next generation that they can help others imagine and create a better future with a perpetual gift that keeps giving. Educating and empowering our youth to help others transcend hardship is the hope of the future. Literacy and a better educated society is a precursor for peace and a world (earth) our creator intended for us. Norton was masterful in his example!
Treat the Earth well. It was not given to you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.
--Ancient Indian Proverb