“There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela
“Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” Vince Lombardi
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in service of others.” Mohandas K. Gandhi
It’s Fall Semester 2015. The start of a shiny, new school year. Whether you are new to campus or a seasoned veteran, as student or employee, it’s an exciting time. It’s a good time to think about what you’d like the next nine months to be about.
I have one suggestion and request as you think about that: Get Involved.
I can’t think of a single thing that holds more promise for a better, more sustainable world than people working together with positive intention to make a difference.
Find an issue, an organization, an idea that energizes you. Join with others who share your interest – chances are you will find a university or community group already in place – and jump in.
We all want to live lives that matter, and there is literally nothing like the feeling of meaning and accomplishment that comes from contributing to something bigger than ourselves. And on top of that everyone I know who has joined with others to be of service to a greater good feels like they have gained much more than they have given. Invariably, people talk about what they have learned, the relationships they have developed, the sense of empowerment they have realized, and a deeper sense of wholeness they feel within.
And the thing is, there is so much need and so much opportunity to contribute in so many ways and at every scale. Pick a topic: hunger, poverty, education, animal welfare, making music, creating art, clean water, good government, human trafficking, gender equity, renewable energy, fair wages, an inclusive economy, fairness and justice for all, ecosystem viability, mental health… the list is almost endless.
And make no mistake: We all have talent and intelligence to offer. As an old Japanese proverb says, “None of us is as smart as all of us,” so what you bring to a group effort enriches and enlarges it. And group efforts are synergistic: the whole of a group’s efforts are greater than the sum of its individual members.
So pick something of interest and jump in. Our world needs you.