What do YOU do to Positively Contribute to Society?
As the presidential elections continue to make their way to the finish line and we get closer to the verdict of who will become our next president, it makes me wonder how many people on a day-to-day basis contribute to this notion of “Making America Great.”
I mean, the slogan is working in gathering herds of people to clamor over a said presidential elect. Living in Florida, I see large institutional churches pop up as vast and quickly as a farmer’s market in a new city. It’s a sign that people want to be connected with their community. They build these places for people to convene together in harmony — helping themselves, their families, and each other.
Individuals chime in constantly over the wrongs of the world, our world, this place called America, even when you’re standing in a grocery line waiting to check out. Gun control, poverty, equal rights, sex slavery, childhood welfare, the list goes on with the topics people strike up real healthy debates about. These are important conversations to have, and it’s awesome when there’s a nice synergy amongst the groups of people coming together over these discussions. Keep having them. Awareness squashes fear, which squashes things like bigotry, racism, and opens up opportunity for others to aid in changing, or making areas of lives better.
I challenge you to ask yourself this, “What have I done lately to help?” Talking about these issues is a great start. It builds awareness, which evolves passion, and leads to change (is the hopeful ultimate goal). But no really, what else have you done?
This is a question that I ask myself every week. What am *I* going to do to contribute to society this week?
Some weeks, I knock it out of the park. Other weeks, I let the team down. The thoughts and compassion are there, always, but the action is absent sometimes.
I watched my friend Sandy’s TED Talk this weekend again for the 10th or 20th time. I often go back to that video to remind myself that people do good things in our world even when no one is watching. More importantly, when people don’t even care to help a certain subset of society that greatly needs it. I met Sandy 2 years ago at a coworking space we shared in Miami, FL. After our brief first encounter, I went back to my desk at work, Googled her, found this TED Talk on her advocacy for solving the sex trafficking problems in our world, balled my eyes out at my desk and have been close friends with her ever since. She is one of the silent helpers of our society.
I ask you to join her.
In her world, the world of breaking down this horrific undercurrent of children being exploited for sex and trafficked to be ‘slaves’ living in an endangered existence riddled with fear and violence. She talks about how to help solve the problem similar to what the greatest marketers share about building community on social media. 1to1 — human to human, tailoring the messaging to the specific audience you are reaching to gain the biggest impact on engaging with that community, speak directly to them — eye to eye — building trust.
She can’t go to social media and talk about what she sees or what she does. She just does it. For the amount of people that wear and support Nike like a cult following, you should Just Do It, too. To be clear, I’m not suggesting you kill someone like the slogan’s derivative, or join the sex trafficking advocacy brigade to aid. What I am suggesting is for you to consider what you can do instead.
Maybe it’s packing a bagged lunch and giving it to a homeless person on your way to work. Maybe it’s paying for someone’s doctor’s visit because they can’t go otherwise. Maybe it’s helping your neighbor, who can’t afford child care, by taking their kids off of them for an hour while the parent’s clean the house. Perhaps it’s giving someone less fortunate a ride to work where they would otherwise have to walk. Or it’s giving someone an outfit out of your closet so they can go on a job interview. There are so many things that can be done; in a big way, in a small way, in every way. These are the things that will make America great. Imagine if every person you are connected with on social media across Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and beyond all packed a brown bag and gave it to someone hungry this week. What kind of impact could that have on society?
Better nutrients make us feel better, make our brains work, which impacts our decisions. Just think about that for a second. I don’t know about you, but when I’m hungry I am not a happy camper. My patience gets tested, my ability to focus gets muted, and sometimes I can be downright nasty until I’ve eaten something.
You could essentially save lives by 1 brown bag x 4 each month. How hard would it be to pack an extra PB&J, an apple, some nuts, a bottle of water, and a granola bar for someone?
Our Society wants to help, I know they do. You put humanity to the test, and it will more than not come out in droves to help. I challenge you to challenge this. Put a post on Facebook with a cry for help asking for funds for someone you know that lost, needs, whatever, and you will get that funding and then some. Stories sell, and people buy. Well, here’s my story and I’m asking for you to help. Just do it. No one needs to know what you’ve done to help someone positively, or why you did it. You will know that you contributed to society in a positive way, and in the end, that’s all that matters.