Have you ever wondered where “Never Settle” came from? It’s not just a slogan for us, but the embodiment of a mission that’s very deep and personal for us here on the leadership team. We are dedicated to helping the world be a better place, but in the days leading up to a time of remembrance and reflection for us, we wanted to share our Easter story and our reasons to never settle.
Mindy Pittman is the Community Manager for all our donors and supporters so there is a good chance you have already talked to her on the phone or via email. She also was married to Don Pittman and helped develop Never Settle as a non-profit from the ground-up. Below she answers our questions and shares her experiences
What does “never settle” mean to you?
Never Settle has deep meaning for me. I was married to the man who coined the phrase and crafted the message. It’s an undeniable, deep in your gut, longing and passion to make not only your life count but every second matter. It’s refusing to live in a band of mediocrity where our comfort zone always resides. It’s a reckless abandon of leaving everything behind and daring to be extraordinary, to be a world-changer inspite of your situation, circumstances or diagnosis and never settling for anything less.
What does Easter mean to you?
Because I am a church planter, Easter has always been special to me. It’s hands-down the most attended Sunday of the year throughout Christian churches worldwide. It’s a weekend celebration remembering Christ’s death, burial and then his miraculous resurrection Easter morning. This special day to me represents renewal, new birth, new beginnings, and new life. Even nature celebrates this time of year when the cold, hard ground gives birth to new life in its glorious colors through trees, grass, and spring flowers. And its a reminder that the grave isn’t the end. Death didn’t win that day. Jesus came to make all things new and although Easter 2006 was my husband’s last, it was also the birthday of Never Settle. Don’s legacy lives on through me, his children, his grandchildren, and now countless others who have dared to be world changers. It would have been easier for Don to stay in bed that Easter morning. But he made the decision to never settle and now you and I are better people because he did.
Don first coined Never Settle Easter Sunday 2006. How has it grown since then?
The vision for Never Settle was conceived and communicated in the mind of Don that Easter Sunday. In his message he talked about kids going to bed hungry at night, and children that are orphaned without the love of a mother or father. He then cast the vision of you and I, normal, everyday people, coming together with the same mind and purpose and how together we can change the world.The message today is still the same and always will be. The difference is it was just Don’s vision that day. Others joined in once they heard and a movement began. That movement branched out into the local schools and community and today, 9 years later, Never Settle is a 501(c)3, and with the vision of its founder, Jeremy, the dream is now global. If you have access to a computer, you can be a part of this life-changing movement and what was true then is still true today. People coming together for a common purpose really can change the world.
Why do you volunteer and support non-profits financially?
It’s simple. The more we become like God, the more we care about the things He cares about, and that’s people. Specifically, the Bible states that we should “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Defend the rights of those who have nothing.”(Prov 31:8); And that the greatest form of worship is to take care of widows and orphans in their distress” (James 1:27). I have committed my life to doing these things and leading others to do the same.
What cause do you care about the most? Why?
I believe all of the causes Never Settle supports are important but I am most passionate about providing safe, clean drinking water to over 750 million people worldwide that currently don’t have access to this most basic need. I have looked into the eyes of 2 year old children hanging onto my leg and begging me for a drink of water. That changes you. I have spent some time in Haiti when there was a severe outbreak of cholera. Kids were dying because of the unsafe water. Raw sewage filled the river running through Port au Prince and women spent most of their day searching for and collecting water. It’s hard to comprehend that just 700 miles off the coast of Miami the world’s poorest region exists. Education matters. Disaster relief is important. But the water crisis is a deadly one and none of us should be able to sleep at night unless we are actively a part of the solution. The only difference between Haitian children and our own is our kids were born on the side of the water where everyone’s basic needs are met. As long as there is one child that doesn’t have access to clean water we can’t stop caring. It’s up to you and me to make a difference.
How did you meet Don? What drew you to him?
I met Don when I was thirteen at the church we grew up at in Tulsa. I was instantly drawn to him because of his love for people and his passion for God and causes he believed in. He was a natural leader and spoke with such authority that everyone listened to him and wanted to be around him. When he spoke publicly he inspired people to believe again, to dream bigger, to take risks, achieve more and love deeply. He made people want to be better and to make the world better. He lived his life full of purpose and pursued his dreams with passion. He embodied the very essence of never settle by not giving in to his cancer diagnosis but by making every day count. He used to say, “I’m going to die, but I’m not going to die today” and then he would go about the work God called him to do. Don accomplished so much in his life and touched thousands with his never settle message but I remember him saying one time that the greatest legacy he could leave for his children was to 1) Love God 2) Love their mother. He did both better than any other man I have ever known.