Interview with Matthew Profaizer, Co-Founder of “The Pursuit of Restoring Faith in Humanity”
by Waverly W., 8 years old, Manhattan
The Mom here! Look at any newspaper or watch the news for two minutes and I’m sure you’ll agree – it’s easy to lose faith in our world. Things can look very dark and sometimes it’s a struggle to believe that goodness and kindness exist. And don’t get me started on the lack of public role models our kids have to look up to. But then, as you scroll down your Facebook feed, you see a little video of a young man brushing the snow off of the cars in the hospital parking lot before the midnight shift gets off. And then another one of a group of young men surprising unsuspecting nurses with roses. And as you watch, you realize that there IS goodness and kindness everywhere, and it is not only in these young men, but in yourself as well, and you are inspired. And suddenly, your faith in humanity is restored.
STOP READING THIS AND CHECK THIS OUT, IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY! And them come back here and read about The Pursuit. You will definitely want to after watching!
I am proud and honored to bring you Waverly’s interview with Matthew Profazier, who, at just 24 years old, is making a huge difference in the world along with Co-Founder Colton Abplanalp and his steadily growing legion of Pursuiters. Read all about them, their movement, “The Pursuit of Restoring Faith in Humanity,” and join The Pursuit! Here is their interview, which took place in my living room on Skype:
What does it mean to “restore faith in humanity” – for our kid readers?
Well, Waverly, “restoring faith in humanity” is, really, just doing kind things to everybody. It’s to remind people that there really is goodness in the world today. On television, or in the media, sometimes we see stuff that makes – especially children – scared and uneasy about the world that’s around them, but as we pursue ‘restoring faith in humanity’ we can truly bring everybody’s spirits up and remind them that there are good people that are around us constantly.
How long have you been doing this?
Cofounder Colton Abplanalp and I actually only launched this page just two short months ago, with zero followers. It’s been a great ride and we’ve been able to get a wonderful response from our Pursuiters.
What is a Pursuiter?
A Pursuiter is someone who commits to change. Someone who is willing to better their lives, their attitudes, and willing to tune into the needs of others. They realize we can’t just sit around waiting for the world to change without first doing something.
How many followers do you have now, in just two short months?
We actually just broke 60,000 followers and almost 55,000 likes.
*Momterruption: It’s because YOU’RE AWESOME!!
What made you start doing this page?
Hmm, that’s a tough question…Colton and myself, we wanted to do something that was meaningful. And we decided that you just can’t sit around waiting for the world to change if we’re not willing to change ourselves. So what we decided to do, was to help people make the necessary changes in their own lives so that THEY can really be the change in the world, the change that we want to see in the world.
MOM: Stop, I’m crying!! I have to ask you – is your mom SO proud of you?
Well, my mom and my dad, they probably thought that I was crazy at first, when I ran this by them. Of course they were supportive and they are happy to see the response. I don’t share with them the private and personal details that a lot of people write in and tell us, but I tell them about the kind of people that we get to meet and speak to and she is really happy.
What were you like as a kid?
As a small child, your age, Waverly, I loved serving my neighbors. As a kid, you think you really can’t do that much…I lived in Utah as a kid and I really enjoyed shoveling the snow in the wintertime, it was just something I’ve always enjoyed. In the summers, I would ride my bike to the nursing home every Wednesday to play games with the elderly people.
So, were you always nice to everyone all the time?
As a small child, I was. I had a great example, my parents were wonderful role models and examples to me. When you get in middle school, sometimes people just forget what’s really important – and that is something I really hope to inspire you children and our youth, our teenagers – that it is never not cool to be nice.
Our motto here at Kids’ News NYC is “There’s News on Every Corner!” What’s your motto?
We’ve adopted our motto from a quote by John Bunyan. His quote is: “You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” That is our motto here at The Pursuit of Restoring Faith in Humanity.
How can a little kid make a difference in this world? Do you have any suggestions?
I have one suggestion. Don’t ever forget that a small candlelight can light an entire dark room. Though you are small and we may feel small in this society that we live in, if we let our lights shine, we can truly illuminate the people around us and help someone that’s having a sad day feel happy.
What’s your New Year’s Resolution?
I have never been one to really set New Year’s Resolutions. This year, though, I really want to push this movement. I really want to help inspire others to do good in the world, and one of the things I’d love to do is to meet with youth groups and go out and speak to them to help inspire them as well, face to face. It’s hard to really put the feeling in people over a skype call or a Facebook page.
What’s one piece of advice you can give to kids who want to make a difference in this world, like you do?
It’s always better to be remembered as a kind person even if it’s unpopular. You will be criticized in school for being kind. Sometimes it’s unpopular, it’s not cool to not join in with the kids if they’re making fun of somebody else. But you will always feel better when the day ends and when you put your head down on the pillow.
In addition to doing kind things for others and spreading kindness, how can people join this pursuit and become Pursuiters?
Please help us grow by liking and following us on social media, and share, share share!
Is there any other way to help you and Colton restore faith in humanity?
We have set up a donation link:
The donations are used mainly for future service projects, driving the page, helping cover operating costs. If we can get sufficient funds then we’d love to go around ad actually speak to youth groups. But for now it’s just to fund future projects since anything we have done has come out of our pockets. None of this money goes to us at all. It is strictly to drive this movement.
The Mom here again! I have no doubt that this much-needed movement will grow to be even larger as more and more people watch their videos and begin to find themselves noticing their own actions – choosing kindness in every day’s encounters with both loved ones and strangers alike. Yes, we all know that kindness matters and I’m sure that we are all kind people in general. But what these two young men are doing, organizing us all into a collective community of “world-changing nice people” is something truly amazing and absolutely necessary. In the very short time I’ve known about The Pursuit of Restoring Faith in Humanity, I have definitely been kinder in little ways countless times throughout each day because it has given me a fresh focus, a daily reminder on my Facebook feed that
I (we!) have the power to change the world, with kindness as the key.
I am extremely thankful to Matthew for taking the time to meet with us – I can say with one thousand percent certainty that he is genuinely a “good guy” who sincerely wants to make a difference in this world. And he and Colton are doing it by showing us that we can, too. So kids, shine your little lights and make the world a brighter place. It can be as simple as a smile, as tiny as just one reader reading a sweet little article ..like this one. I also want to thank Matthew and Colton for reminding me that this little website, my own little contribution to the world, does not have to reach thousands of people to make a difference. In this day and age where we often judge ourselves and others numbers of likes, shares and follows, they remind me that this is my way of lighting a small candle and hopefully making even one person’s life just a little less dark. Just like watching their video did for me.
Moms, dads – If you’re pursuing a new year’s resolution that goes beyond losing those extra five pounds, as well as true role models for your kids (and ourselves!) look no further…Join the Pursuit!