Affectionately known as "America's #1 Success Coach," Jack Canfield is the originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and a leading authority in the areas of self-esteem, achievement motivation, and peak performance. [www.jackcanfield.com]
Arianna Huffington is the co-founder and Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post and the author of twelve books. [www.huffingtonpost.com]
Seth Godin is a prominent author, blogger and speaker. [www.squidoo.com/linchpin]
Krishna Kaur is the founder of YOGA for Youth, a program that takes yoga, meditation, and stimulating discussions on the philosophy of yoga to urban youth. [www.yogaforyouth.org]
Norman Lear has enjoyed a long career in television and film. He is also a political and social activist and philanthropist. [www.normanlear.com]
Leilani Münter is a professional race car driver and an environmental activist who uses her voice in the number one spectator sport in America as a catalyst for change. [www.leilanimunter.com]
By going undercover to meet slaves and slaveholders, Kevin Bales exposed modern slavery's penetration into the global economy. He co-founded Free the Slaves, which has helped to liberate thousands of slaves. [www.freetheslaves.net]
Sophie Chiche, lifebyme.com founder and curator, enjoys asking deep questions and living a life of meaning. Today she's launching Shape House, an urban sweat lodge, a place to melt away fears and fat. [www.shapehousela.com]
Entrepreneur and writer Mastin Kipp founded TheDailyLove.com, which merges pop culture with inspiration, and co-founded The Love Yourself Company, an apparel company that has started a global self-esteem movement. [www.TheDailyLove.com]
Liz Phair is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. [www.lizphair.com]
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is Chairman of The Elders, a group of world leaders who address some of the world's most pressing problems. He works energetically for human-rights and in his ministry. [www.tutu.org]
Zainab Salbi is the founder and CEO of Women for Women International, a group dedicated to helping women survivors of war rebuild their lives. [www.womenforwomen.org]
Despite his physical challenges, Sean Stephenson has taken a stand for a quality of life that has inspired millions of people around the world. He's a professional speaker, psychotherapist, and author. [www.timetostand.com]
Kia Miller teaches Yoga at Yoga Works in Los Angeles, leads teacher trainings, and runs retreats and workshops on meditation, chakras, pranayam, and mantras, and other practices. [www.kiamiller.com]
Simon Mainwaring is an ex-Nike/Wieden creative, former Worldwide Creative Director at Motorola/Ogilvy, branding/advertising writer, author/speaker/blogger, Australian, idea geek. [www.simonmainwaring.com]
Shannon Bindler is a style editor, life coach, and the co-founder of Get Up Girl, an empowerment company that inspires women to shine. [www.getupgirl.com]
Grammy-nominated art director/designer/photographer Mathieu Bitton has designed over 450 CDs and movie posters. He's a renowned collector of and authority on black films and their soundtracks. [www.candytangerine.com]
Opus Reps founder and agent-producer Jorge Perez travels the world producing photo shoots with great photographers and celebrities. He's also very involved with Meals on Wheels in Los Angeles. www.opusreps.com
Before I do anything, I think.
Before I eat something, I think. That’s why I’m a vegetarian, because I think of all the suffering animals around the world and all the rain forest that’s been cut down to graze cattle for hamburgers.
Before I buy something, I think. That’s why I choose environmentally responsible products, to support sustainable companies that are part of the solution, not the problem.
Before I swat at a scary bug in my house, I think. That’s why I always catch the bug and put him outside, because I have no right to take any life away, even the life of a bug. He has as much right to be here as I do.
Before I drive my race car, I think. That’s why I adopt an acre of rainforest for every race I enter, because I want to give back in exchange for the fuel I burn in my job.
Before I go scuba diving, I think. That’s why I don’t touch any living thing in the ocean. I’m there only to observe.
Before I go into the grocery store, I think. That’s why I take along my own reusable bags, because I don’t want to use a plastic bag that could end up in the ocean, killing wildlife that accidentally ingests the plastic.
Before I get out of bed in the morning, I think. That’s why I fill my day doing my small part to make the world a better place. I want to be kind, to be good, to be green.
Before I go to bed at night, I think. I think about what a wonderful place the world would be if all of us thought for just a moment before we made a decision.
What if, rather than making a decision based on selfish gain, we all chose instead to make the right choice for the Earth and all its inhabitants?
When faced with the enormity of humanity’s overwhelming problems in the world, when you think to yourself, What difference can I really make? What difference does it make if I – only one person among billions – recycle an aluminum can or don’t use plastic bags or stop eating meat? … just remember: small changes, multiplied by billions, make a big difference.
- Leilani Münter