There’s a singer named Israel Kamakawiwo from Hawaii that I first rediscovered during a good friend’s wedding. You may not know who he is by name, but you have probably heard his often replayed rendition of "=Over The Rainbow" at some point in your life. It was the song that my friend came down the aisle to her wedding with and probably one that has made it into many other weddings as well.
He was a big man who created music that he loved and brought a region to life with his presence. In a time where people obsess over their looks and consider surgery to fix any perceived flaw, he was huge (nicknamed "The Gentle Giant") and from Hawaii (so he often performed shirtless). Not something you see every day, but if you watch the video below you can see how this overweight but talented man gave hope to an entire region. Israel was a local hero.
I love this video because it tells the tale of a man who gave the people of his city something to believe in … and sent the message that a simple musician who didn’t look like a rockstar could become something far greater than his circumstance. Though he’s passed away now, I think he’d love to know that his voice is still heard. I’ve got a great lineup of marketing posts for next week after taking a few days off from blogging, but heading into the weekend, I think Israel’s example is a great reminder for all of us of the importance doing something inspiring.