Creative Thought, Mindset and Possibilities

Creative thought requires a mindset that allows possibility and actually welcomes it into the room of your mind.  Let me show you what I mean.

I came across a series of videos on You Tube called “Shots of Awe”.  Jason Silva the host of “The Brain Game” creates them.   He said, “The new definition of billionaire is not one who has a billion dollars, but him or her who positively affects the lives of a billion people!  This should be our goal.  This is our responsibility. This is our chance!”  He states emphatically.  (the video is 2:02)

This creative thought struck me like thunder.  A spark ignited in my mind and a firestorm of thoughts took flight across my imagination.  It was quite breathtaking and I felt a rush of exhilaration as images raged across my inner vision.  It was a flash of insight that happened so fast, I am at a loss for words to describe.   I simply want to hold on to everything it left me with.  It was a wonderful moment of cognitive ecstasy that I assume was similar to Jason’s except that it was run through the particular filter that is me.  It rearranged my mindset.  I felt a true delight of sharing, a true delight of kinship.  “Yes!” I thought to myself as I pumped an imaginary fist in the air in deep agreement.  If it could strike me with a feeling I experienced as extraordinary, how many others will find a similar experience?  And what could be the effect over time?

Few have ever had the power to affect a billion people, mostly governments, and major corporations.   Today, with a smart phone and platforms like face book, twitter, or You Tube we can and do affect the lives of millions of people.  Technology allows us to be followed by millions of people at any given moment and on many different platforms.  What could be the future for this passion project called Do Gooders List?  What if we targeted the awareness of only a few million every year?   What could be the impact of a body of work over a span of time?  Could we hope to positively support and appreciate people who serve their community, who in their turn affect millions of lives?   What would it feel like to participate with a mindset of knowing beyond all doubt that our conscious action of shopping online would provide relief and hope to others.  Could momentum build an energy that ripples away and touches other wonderful projects to bring a focus to them?

The, “I’d like to Buy the World a Coke” commercial of the 70’s probably did make Coca Cola look like the fun and inclusive drink to American teenagers.  As for my younger self, I loved the song and and its message of peace.  My babysitters drank Coca Cola and played records.  I grew up certain in the belief that hunger would end in my life time. We created events like USA for Africa and Hands Across America.  We created movements like Farm Aid and Comic ReliefMichael Jackson and Lionel Richie wrote, “We Are the World”.  Time for this video is 7:09.

Musicians and celebrities alike took part in its presentation and its statement to the world.  All proceeds were donated and it was released as a single.  I still cry every time I hear it, crazy, I know.  But the true moment my heart blossomed with hope for humanity was when  the world celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall.   My mindset shifted and I no longer pursued speaking German.   I believe what I experienced was a phenomenal cultural optimism that was building momentum and still exists to this day, with in me and for sure within others.

Today we consume culture instead of creating it.  Many of us generally live the life we most relate to in media.  Far too many of us live  a personalized version of  “House Wives”, Soap Operas, “The Maury Povich Show” or “The Kardashians”.  We re-create ourselves into the images of Musical icons or are obsessed with fantasy football the list goes on.  When we are not happily consuming that distraction, we are consuming  scary distractions like war, natural disasters and of course The Zombie Apocalypse.  This created culture is sent out over the air waves and reinforced upon our awareness over and over again.  Not unlike the song you do not like, but is played so much on the radio you know all the words.  The way we zombify ourselves endlessly flicking through channels to avoid knowing or feeling; “Just let me escape for a moment” you say to yourself.  That is an electronic media giving you a culture that it created to sell you all manner of products, views and lifestyles.  It is a cultural diversion that does not reflect the truly creative and beautiful endeavors of humanity, or movements like conscientious shopping or conscientious eating.    It does not nourish the soul of the masses it seeks to influence.   It distracts awareness from what the soul would love to discover about itself and the amazing things we would create.

We have the opportunity through technology, to create for ourselves communities and “hubs” of like minded individuals.  We can support and inspire each other with our unshakable belief that being human means something deeper than your skin color or the team you root for.  The journey of every life is about a unique unfolding.  It can be about recognizing and acknowledging an awareness that is divine, that is always waiting for your attention to be turned and tuned to it.  I believe there is an optimism that can be claimed by those willing to focus their mindset on cultural movements that real people are creating; and not so much focus on the culture that is being created by Hollywood, entertainment, and big business.   We must own the right to create and celebrate new cultural movements; much like the eagle that creates its own destiny, unlike other birds which must flock.

A new creative thought drops into my awareness and ripples outward like rings from a single drop on still water.  An endless echo that rides a wave away from me and touches all that I am and all I am connected to.

Leverage Multiple Nonprofits

This is a collage of non-profits images. The focus is youth non-profits such as 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, and Boys and Girls Clubs.
Just do good.

Vermont Do Gooders List would like to recognize a trend that advocates a process of co-creation among nonprofits and add our two cents.  There are groups and clubs for children that wish to foster an appreciation for animals, for the elderly, for self reliance and much more.  Recognizable names like 4-H Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, and lesser knows like Rainbow Girls and others that promote civic “duty” as a value.  What if, as part of their social mission they could choose to sponsor another organization that serves their community, for a specific event or a period of time?  Such as a food shelf, or any issue they care about.  There are nonprofits centered on common interest or shared experience for adults, and they wish to offer service to their community in a myriad of ways.  There are nonprofits that serve the outcast and cast offs.  These groups serve humans, animals and the environment.  The service of these groups combined, uplifts us all.  We see nonprofits for adults doing projects together, and we appreciate the value these organizations bring to each other.  We believe the results of these efforts could be magnified with some subtle adjustments to current common practices.  One such recommendation would be to bring our youth into the mix.   Develop joint projects around youth organizations that have  strong traditions of community service to  leverage the energy of multiple nonprofits that are focused locally while having diverse missions of service.

Here is an example.  Take the case for your cause and present it to a youth organization.  A horse rescue could do a presentation for a horse 4-H Club about what they do, and what rescue organizations face.   What are the costs of care and nurture?  What could they do on a regular basis to help rescues.  For instance, resist the urge to impulse buy an animal no matter how cute.  Use  Do Gooders List when you shop on line and choose the category of Animal Rescue.  How could their time and energy make a difference?  If you help them discover a pure “why”, such as envisioning a world that welcomes every birth, the “what’s in it for me” is a much better world, and who doesn’t want that?  So, the 4-H Club decides to sponsor the Horse Rescue.  In this example of joint projects that leverage the energy of multiple nonprofits locally, we might suggest; the 4-H Club requests the donation of a bale or two of hay at the end of a horse show weekend.  They could even have already made tax deductible donation slips to trade for the hay.  The club and the nonprofit could enlist the help of a third group, perhaps a local Rotary Club.  The local Rotary Club would assist in the delivery of the hay to the horse rescue or the “hay bank”.  You could also ask them to include a story about the joint effort in their newsletter.  This is what we mean when we say, “Leverage the energy of multiple nonprofits“.  This type of collaborative effort could attract local businesses to sponsor events in whole or in part.

There is a multitude of ways to implement these joint projects.  Any of these “youth” groups or Clubs could sponsor a dog or a parrot rescue. They could sponsor drug prevention outreach programs.  They could begin a face book passion page to catalog their achievements and give a “shout out” to others that helped them.  If a third nonprofit organization gets involved to help, such as an American Legion or Knights of Columbus ask them to write about the joint effort in their news letter.  If you are an organization that is asked for help, do not under estimate the impact of your impression on our youth.  One day they may join your ranks.  Perhaps a local business would provide tee-shirts or other favors to help sponsor the event.  For any single event, momentum is multiplied, and energy is leveraged by the teams participating; and it all counts when we are talking about energy.

Mother Teresa once said, “…if you are marching against war, do not invite me.   If you are marching for peace, invite me”.   She understood that as you push against the unwanted, you add power to it.  Carl Jung said, “What you resist persist.”  Gandhi urged us to be the change we want to see in the world.   If we are to “be” the change, then “being the change” embodies the vision as well.  When we try to shame people out of money, and insist their dollars will bring an end to injustice, we are not lined up with the end result we would like to see.  When you see something you do not like, and you want to reach for something nobler, each effort toward that “nobler” idea should be sown with the same grace that the larger vision embraces.  As we make thousands of needle point moves to ease the current condition, each move is a celebration of accomplishment toward the greater vision we must hold for ourselves.

This is one of the subtle changes we were referring to at the beginning of this article.  If we change our emphasis to the good we are creating instead of what we wish to prevent or eliminate, over time we can change the world.   When we gather to process vegetables for the local food shelf because we “love to eat” or because “we envision a time when every child goes to sleep with a full belly”, we have shifted our alignment to abundance.  With these types of thoughts in mind, every time we harvest or store food, we are creating a beautiful pattern for our children and their children to follow and develop that will gain momentum over time.  This is how we affect our shared destiny locally.  We hope you will give some thought to how this might work in your community.  Blessings on our journey.

My Fund Raising Journey

This is an image of butterflies and a quote from this author. "faith is walking in the state of the wish fulfilled."

My fund raising journey began a few years ago when an idea dawned on me that I thought was as brilliant as sliced bread.  But, I was an absolute failure getting local libraries, humane societies, fire departments to begin to use affiliate marketing to raise funds for themselves.  Thus began a journey I believe I will be on for the rest of my life.  Because creating something good out of money that is left on the table is a challenge I cannot resist.

My journey becomes more quantifiable each time I move into a new understanding of myself in the world.  Each time I have done something I never imagined I could do.  I am still not sure about walking across hot coals, but I am closer to believing in myself.  I believe it is when we string those quantifiable moments together; we can begin to measure growth within ourselves.   And growth is never a constant up trending metric.

Do Gooders List is the beginning of a solution to raise funds for groups, clubs and organizations that “do good” and “make a difference” right where we live.  We want to bring funds from affiliate marketing into local non-profits.  Affiliate Marketing is used by  E-Bates,  Market America and  Amazon Smiles.   It is the best funding solution I could find because it costs nothing extra.  No monthly deductions from your checking account, no monthly additions to your credit card statement and there is no event planning needed.  It is simply shopping online through specific links.  That is it.   We need a hub in which to shop, and the habit of doing it.  In the first quarter of 2014 US mobile phone users spent over 10 billion dollars on internet purchases.  It is still on the rise.

All the above mentioned companies have advantages and perhaps disadvantages, but in a diverse and informed world, there is room for everyone.  We have international organizations that have sub-corporations within countries that have sub-corporations at the state level.   We have national organizations that have, sub corporations in every state.  Those in turn have sub-corporate divisions at a county level.   I believe there is a vast difference between what the top wants to believe it delivers and what is finally received by yet smaller organizations that directly provide services.   Our lives and the reality we are continuously creating are constantly in motion.  Let us make deliberate and conscious efforts to create with an end result in mind.  Let us build something that operates within newly defined parameters, and let it serve us where we live.

I understand that there are different problems across this nation. The problems are different between small towns and big cities.   But it is the people who live there and want something better that will know what is needed locally better than anyone.  So who better to fund?   Who better to fund than the organizations that already exist and serve the population directly?

Let us begin a Journey of fund raising together.  Let us celebrate and honor those who serve, those who are ready to learn, those here to teach and those here to lead the way!

 

Just do good.