Anyone who would turn down a job that pays $37 million is crazy, right? At first it may seem that way, but that’s just what former NFL player Jason Brown did. In 2012, Brown walked away from a five-year, $37 million contract with the St. Louis Rams in order to start a farm. With no previous knowledge of farming, Brown bought 1,000 acres on the outskirts of Louisburg, North Carolina, and started getting his hands dirty.
When I first heard Brown’s story, I almost didn’t believe it. Who would turn down such a coveted career path in favor of becoming a farmer? Once I saw this video clip from CBS News, however, it was immediately clear to me that Brown is far from crazy for nixing his football career. He made a choice to live his life in a grounded, connected, and thoughtful way, and is changing the lives of people in need by donating the first fruits of every harvest to local food pantries. Even though he says his agent told him he was making “the worst decision of his life,” Brown was confident that his choice to farm and donate crops was the right decision for him.
One particular thing Jason Brown said in the video really stood out to me: “When I think about a life of greatness, I think about a life of service.” As we start another new year, many of us dream of securing a fat promotion or pulling off a major weight loss. Not many people would consider going from professional athlete to farmer to be the path to greatness, but Brown proves otherwise.
Though we may not have the same platforms, may we all take a little inspiration from Jason Brown’s courage and true selflessness. As he reminds us, “love is the best currency that you can give anyone.”
Video from KarmaTube