Yesterday I was talking about random acts of kindness, and how they can make a real difference in the world. Today, I want to prove my point with two amazing initiatives that I saw online.
The first one was performed at the World Domination Summit, a few days back in Portland. WDS is not about a bunch of Star Wars geeks taking over the planet, it is about a team of exceptional people who put together a program of conferences, workshops and talks about how to do what you really want to do in life, be good at it, become a better human being as a result of it and improve the world around you.
At the end of the conference, Chris Guillebeau, who is the brain behind all that, was left with a small surplus of money. Wondering what to do with it, he decided to take up a donation offer from an attendee, and put together enough money for each attendee to go back home with $100. There were 1,000 people attending, Guillebeau took a 100K bet on those people.
His only directive was for people to think about what they could do with that money. Give it back, pay debt, start a small business, invest on oneself, the options are endless. And many people have started writing about what they are going to do, like Rami who even dared Guillebeau that he would give him back tenfold if his book wasn’t published by next year.
Or many who were moved by Scott Harrison, founder of Charity: Water, and decided to give up birthday gifts this year to give the money to the charity, and put the extra $100 towards that giving goal.
Whatever those people do, some will do great, some good, and a few probably won’t do anything, but they will all leave this conference with such a strong sense of empowerment, that someone is ready to take a leap of faith and trust them to start something amazing. This is truly inspiring.
The other initiative I wanted to talk about is Stephanie’s decision to support a charity or an organization a day for a full year, by giving them $10. While I never believed in giving people in the street some money, I always like to help in small ways whenever I see great need, or great passion. If $10 is a small amount, it can certainly go a long way when you are for example buying rice in a developing country, or a full load of laundry for a low income family. Stephanie’s example was contagious too, with many others deciding to start giving in whatever small amounts they can.
The most amazing thing is, by doing good, you are doing yourself some good. The feeling is incredible. Giving is better than receiving, it seriously is! And when you see that your actions produce small seeds, here and there, you have started to make the world a better place.
Some will say, what if I have no money? That is perfect, you don’t need anything to start doing some good, and giving back. You can volunteer your time at a local association or charity, you can donate your blood at the blood bank, you can tutor a kid in your neighborhood, or simply start by holding the door and giving your seat to elderly people.
One little step at the time, you are improving and your community is improving with you.