52 Weeks of Thanks

Letters From Bear // Wednesday January 24th, 2018

So I set out three weeks ago with a rather awkward goal for the new year, and I say that because I have utterly no clue where the passion behind it came from.

The goal was to volunteer at a new non-profit every week for the year.

I have always been a very caring person, and for the most part always happy to lend a hand with whatever was on task, but growing up volunteering just came with this stigma to it, that ‘proper’ people just don’t do it.

However, a few things have changed and impacted me in the last two years… outside of the weekly shaving and ability to see into the top shelf of the fridge that is. — You see, growing up we are taught and taught almost religiously to share!! But very rarely will you find any child being taught to give.

Both stem from the same concept of helping those who may be less fortunate or educated, yet the means of execution by which those two are taught couldn’t be any different.

Sharing is the act of giving when one is obstructed with need.

Giving on the other hand, is the act of sharing unconditionally. — Whether it be to the wealthiest or poorest of recipients, educated or undereducated, hungry or fat, human or animal.

When I moved to Basalt, about four or five months after getting comfortable in the community, I went out for an evening to a local talk with a few entrepreneurs, educators and others (diversity that can be rarely competed with in our valley). It was at this talk that a phrase really struck me with interest.

“Give First”

Whether I understood the phrase as it was designed or not, this truly moved me. Personally I found it to be the idea that at every second of the day, you find yourself comfortable enough in your skin to offer everything you have, know and are looking to learn out on the table, and beyond anything else, allow for the possibility that it might help someone before come the time that they shout their need.

The idea that you are always unconditionally investing your part in the community and ecosystem without doing anything more than neglecting your own privacy. And should the whole community be a part of this “give first” mantra, what goes around will come around.

As a teenager, founder, entrepreneur and student, I find it to only make sense that in return for how much this community has personally incubated me, I offer myself to incubate and evolve it.

So as I enter my third week of volunteering with a new non-profit, — The Arts Campus At Willits this week, I can only say thank you.

Not for what they have done for me, or I them, but for what we the community do for each other everyday.


Thanks for checking out this blog post, written by our CEO, Bear Matthews. You can follow Bear on Twitter here and connect with him on LinkedIn here.

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