It's 1787 and Benjamin Franklin has just emerged from the Constitutional Convention. He is approached by an elderly lady who stops him and asks:
"Well doctor, what have we got - a Republic or a Monarchy?"
"A Republic... if you can keep it."
After a fair bit of travel, I can't help but count my blessings for being born in America. I am grateful to be a part of an innovative society surrounded by creative and helpful people. And while I'll be the first to admit we have our fare share of challenges and inequalities, I will just as quickly point out that there are individuals and groups actively working to tackle them.
And that is the beauty of America: I love it not for what we have, but for what we allow and encourage people to create. It's this spirit that fuels innovation and creativity. And it's the application of innovation and creativity to some of the world's biggest problems that can help improve social and environmental conditions around the globe.
purpose and vigor. And we need you to help fuel innovation and creativity in order to make this world a better place.
I came across this GREAT article in FastCompany where a man donated just a little time to support struggling small businesses and take them from poverty to prosperity. It made me reflect on how some of my experiences are helping others... and just how important a little effort can be.
In fact, it's these little efforts that make a big impact. By being open to new opportunities, I have met a lot of people that needed help. Its only been a few months, but the number of occurrences are making this feel like it was fated:
- I re-connected with a long lost friend in Aspen the night he found out his girlfriend was cheating on him, and I couldn't help but realize how timely it was that I was there to offer a helping hand
- I ended up meeting an incredible mountain guide in Nepal whose hurting business now has a chance to capitalize on my successful ski attempt of Mera Peak, and in doing so, he can finally realize his desires of improving the environment of Nepal and treating porters more fairly
- I made it to Tikot, Nepal, just in time to help improve English, teach fundamental computer skills, and plant the idea of a cyber-cafe so they can start making money from tourists who will start arriving next fall as part of a new eco-trekking route
- I met a travelling Doctor who is trying to launch a telehealth program in Nepal, and I will be supporting his publicity and online efforts abroad on this initiative that has the possibility to impact millions of lives
- I attended the Relay For Life in Malaysia and met with the leadership there at an important juncture as they are trying to grow the Relay For Life program, but struggling to fundraise due to cultural hurdles
- And, only one week in Indonesia, I see how my arrival here could not have been more timely. Believe me when I say that the list goes on...
I hope this list doesn't come across as self-promotional as this is not my intent... I published it to show that everywhere I have traveled, I have found people that needed at least a little help and support. At home, I know that the same is true and this is why we need you. With all do respect to Mr. Franklin, this is about more than keeping our republic a republic. It's about finding more fulfillment in your life while making this world a better place for our generation and the next.
If you need more motivation or guidance how to get started, please check out my past articles about Creating Connections, Opening Opportunities, and Changing the World.
Thank you for being you.