This is definitely the time of year when we start focusing more on how we can contribute to the well being of others. For some, it’s providing clothes, food and toys at local drives; for others, it’s working at a shelter so that each and every person has a hot meal over the holiday season. The holidays are always a time to see those we care about and celebrate all that we are all grateful for. But my hope, and wish, for the coming year is that we all begin to set our sights on how we can take action in our communities and find ways of lifting everyone up all year long. How great would it be if everyone were committed to ensuring that the basic needs of food, shelter, jobs and education for all children were actually met so that we all can flourish?
Over the past 2 years, one of the wonderful outcomes of the US primaries and the following election was that President Elect Barack Obama spoke repeatedly and passionately about his humble beginnings as a community organizer. He used this very grass roots and important aspect of his entrée to public service to stage one of the most important and powerful movements in history. Social Media became the epicenter and the enabler of his campaign—creating a nationwide community of people who all worked within their own communities to help Barack Obama get elected. But more importantly, it gave people an opportunity to have a say in how they would like to see their United States change over the next four years.
In the Huffington Post, there’s an article by Craig Newmark, founder and customer service representative for Craigslist. In response to an apparent reference in the Obama platform to “a craigslist for service”, he goes on to say that “Obama is inspiring millions of people to consider service to others, and to innovate for service.” (Check out what Barack has to say at change.gov)
“When you choose to serve—whether it’s your nation, your community or simply your neighborhood—you are connected to that fundamental American ideal that we want life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness not just for ourselves, but for all Americans. That’s why it’s called the American dream.”
Newmark says that a “craigslist for service” is a metaphorical reference to the need for greater service to others, with the spirit and culture of trust of craigslist. He then speaks from his personal perspective about the possible aspects of “a craigslist for service” and then moves on to discuss this same topic in the context of national service.
My hope is that Obama’s passion for service that starts in your neighborhood doesn’t limit itself to the American Dream, but becomes a dream for everyone. Canada, Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and North America: we’re really no different. Each and every person desires life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness—the fulfillment of this desire should apply to everyone. The world was able to watch as the concept of change swept over one of our leading nations and its people—not only in terms to leadership, but in how they work with one another, find ways to connect, respect one another and find a common ground that can benefit everyone.
There are many great global leaders around the globe that have dedicated their lives to the pursuit of a better quality of life for others. I do believe that embracing this wonderful and simple idea of participating in a movement within our respective communities to lift each other up can be the best gift we can all give and receive in the coming year.
I congratulate Craig Newmark and the Huffington Post for giving us an article that reminds readers that doing one thing for the benefit of another is the greatest gift. There is no big or small. Each offering is a giant step towards a civic duty that belongs to each of us.
What will be your civic offering to your community this coming year?
Click here to read the Craig Newmark’s article.
While your here, check out what we’ve been doing in our community!