Justin Wren the Big Pygmy

The hero’s journey begins with a single step and is bound by the battles fought. Pride cannot be confined to only outcome, sometimes we’re set up to succeed other times left at a loss. Head down and hands up at the school of hard knocks. Exposed to defeat we find direction and a cause formerly lost. But at what cost, a pyrrhic victory values results rather than measuring effort. Mindset separates a champion from a contender. Never left empty handed when making a generous gesture. Dig deep and wish them well, stand strong as a fulcrum to the lever.

In any endeavor, show your heart to opponents and allies alike it doesn’t matter. When equipped vulnerability is a double edged sword with no scabbard. Swung wildly at times with no concern of who it strikes. Drawing in the likeminded gathered and even the distant scattered. Armed with compassion we know more than one way to fight back. Being the change we want to see, representing the unmentioned and setting the displaced on the right track. Understanding enemies is one thing but to provide assistance is another. Some goals are easier attained when we help adversaries find what they might lack.

More than another statistic, attach a face to the crisis and it’s hard to dismiss it. Andibo went lifeless in his arms the harsh reality’s gripping. Daily mourning five thousand children under five die from dirty water, what are we missing? Underground aquifers prevent waterborne diseases like river blindness so, there’s no reason for the graves that they’re digging. Mama Miriamo couldn’t even see her children that passed, that’s a pain that should never elicit into existence. Let’s get specific, more than twenty seven million enslaved in modern day, the most in human history. He learned he couldn’t combat these oppressors it would only prolong the misery. Pygmies toiling endlessly without succumbing to pressure, given subhuman treatment and superhuman responsibilities. How could anyone survive?

Emaciated and abused, generating strength in numbers is the way they thrive. You can go fast alone but we’ll get further together along with it takes a village to raise a child, are the proverbs with which they abide. Land purchases, rights and resource initiatives, clean water and agricultural development, all large strides towards becoming self-sufficient. Try sleeping in a room with a mosquito the next time you feel that you can’t make a difference. Once we find out how good it feels to speak for those without a voice. We extend our helping hands, granting outreach to those without a choice. With every battle you win some and you lose some but you live to fight another day. We should all fight for the forgotten, not just for what mainstream media displays.

Justin is a Wrestler, MMA fighter, anti-bullying advocate, and founder for Fight for the Forgotten. His nicknames “The Big Pygmy” and “Eféosa” (The man who loves us all) originate from his time spent engaging, working with, and rejuvenating the Mbuti pygmies in the Congo. His time spent there helped him find and align a passion outside of cage fighting. His organization helps empower the Mbuti pygmies by combatting the water crisis, buying back formerly stolen land, and enriching their lives with sustainable methods to not only survive but to thrive. With the mission statement of defeating love with hate he combines his martial arts with anti-bullying and character development cirriculum through his Heroes in Waiting program. Justin is a huge inspiration to me and many that have heard his story and received his message.

Eféosa is about Justin’s growth transitioning from a fighter with closed fists to a leader with open palms. The entry stresses the importance of finding another passion that serves more than just self, and if you’re lucky find a way to combine them. The first verse reminds us that nothing great comes easy, and that there will be many setbacks before progress is made. Staying gracious even in the face of defeat or failure goes a long way. The second verse talks about how vulnerability, what most perceive as weakness, is usually the opposite and be used as tool to unify opposing sides. The third verse lists statistics and unique experiences from Justin’s countless visits to the Congo, along with the bigger picture which is the goal to end unnecessary violence and human suffering. By humanizing a crisis most view as an afterthought, his involvement evolved into his organization. The last verse ties things together by accounting for what is being done and how we can help. Please visit https://fightfortheforgotten.org/ for more information.