At the end of May 2016, I graduated from Elon University in North Carolina. Less than a week later, I began my journey across the country to Colorado Springs, moving away from my family and girlfriend, to take a job with Young Life.

One of the first friends I made was a guy named Chris, and, after about 20 minutes of small talk, I learned that Chris was a writer – not only that, but a poet. I grew up writing raps, which later on evolved into spoken word poetry. However, I never really had an outlet to share my poetry.

Chris invited me to a small poetry group that he was involved with locally. I decided to check it out. It was an experience unlike anything I had ever had. We started the night by reading other poets’ works and discussing them, and then we transitioned into reading our own poems. All throughout the night, I was struck by the power our words seemed to hold. I needed more experiences like this.

Teryn, the girl who hosted the poetry group, invited me to check out a local poetry organization called Hear Here that gives kids outlets to share their poetry through various events. The following week, I attended one of their poetry slams. As person after person got up and shared the most vulnerable parts of their lives in a room full of strangers, it hit me: Words matter.

A few weeks later, I got home from work and felt an insatiable desire to create. But I knew I wasn’t just meant to write a poem or make something on Photoshop. I was supposed to start a movement. So I pulled out a notebook and began feverishly jotting down ideas.

I wanted to give people a platform from which they could express themselves and make people’s days better with their ideas. I thought, ‘What if I enlisted local poets to share their words and cover our community with encouraging poems?’

However, I didn’t know where to place the poems. Then, it hit me – cars. We’re surrounded by cars. So much of our lives are seen through the view of a car window, and oftentimes we find items on our windows we don’t want. Parking tickets. Event flyers. But I could change that. I could bring people together to write together and replace those unwanted items with encouraging poems.

Since that moment, Car Window Poetry has been featured on NBC Nightly News, as well as CNN’s Headline News, and my new goal is to cover America with encouraging poems. I want to prove that the smallest messages of love can make the biggest difference in people’s lives because words matter.

“To me LIVE A GREAT STORY means waking up every day and asking the question, “How can I make the world a better place today?” It doesn’t take much to change the world. It’s the smallest acts of love that can make the biggest difference in the lives of those around us. Living a great story is acting in small ways to make a big difference. To change the world. To create a culture of kindness.” Alex Lewis

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