An Invitation

Fire Rainbow

“I believe I have a personal responsibility to make a positive impact.” ~ Anthony Fauci

I chose this image (source: Pinterest) of a “fire rainbow” to illustrate a rare and wonderful atmospheric phenomenon. I also wanted to contrast the point that beauty demonstrated, is not always rare.

Some of you know that I have been wanting to give more of my time, talents and energy to a meaningful and significant cause — on a volunteer basis. This Spring a beautiful opportunity presented.

This March, 2016 Press Release announced my election to the Board of The Coach Initiative – a ten years young organization that supports nonprofit initiatives worldwide to make a greater positive impact.

An Invitation

More specifically, The Coach Initiative (TCI) offers, on a pro-bono basis, coaching support to exponentially expand the positive global impact of projects that focus on the betterment of the human condition and on uplifting the human spirit.

TCI looks to a future where every not-for-profit organization with the purpose of making a positive impact in the world has the support of an experienced professional coach to enhance their contribution toward safer, healthier, happier, more productive global citizenry and the protection and care of our planet.

An Invitation2

We are moving quickly! And herein lies the invitation:

If you are aware of an established not-for-profit organization that could benefit from what TCI offers (see above link), I would like to learn about that nonprofit from you. Preferably, it would be an organization that you have personal experience with, one that you can vouch for their efforts and meaningful focus. In turn, I will have TCI contact that organization with information on how to apply to its program.

An invitation3

In lieu of often shared points for consideration, following are three quotes that, I believe, remind us of what we are capable of doing. Choices that we make can contribute to the betterment of the human condition.  We simply need to act.

  • “A freely given gift can create a ripple of positive change in a person’s life, their family and their community.” ~ Unknown
  • “You have to throw the stone to get the pool to ripple.” ~ Glenn Tilbrook
  • “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

What Others Need Now

5391797674_c35831e622_m

“Make yourself necessary to somebody.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

People watching / observing human interaction is a favorite pastime. I got to do this today, waiting (for quite a while) in a hospital pavilion. Behaviors abounded ranging from sheer joy to bewilderment, from rudeness to emotionally drained — with smiles, laughter, tears and ugliness interspersed. And I got to thinking…

There are a lot of people who are vain and arrogant, who see themselves as the center of the world. And I wondered… if the human species ceased to exist today, while the animals that we underrate lived on, would the world be changed for the better? Then I snapped out of it, reflecting instead on how our we favorably impact others.

2311944398_3bee8047ab_m

When I think about the people who made the biggest impact in my life, it has been those who showed a sincere belief in me; those who let me know through their words and actions that I mattered. And to me, mattering is a universal human need, one that each of us have an opportunity to satisfy.

With those people I observed today, the mere fact that they were born, that they exist, regardless of their circumstances, mood or looks — reminded me that each one of them is indispensable, necessary, and irreplaceable. They matter.

4687127079_c93a3248ca_m

Have we become superambitious and hyperproductive in order to create some semblance of outer control in place of no inner control? Are we that detached from our fellow-man? I think not. Rather, I think we sometimes forget that we can create a world in which each of us knows we matter, believing in ourselves and supporting one another. Actions you take today can make a difference in someone’s life tomorrow. And that ripple would carry into future generations. Just imagine…

If you are unsure about what to do when you encounter or interact with someone significant or yet-to-be significant in your life, here are three things to consider:

  1. Notice everyone. When you do, you recognize their value and importance. Go out of your way to acknowledge people. Make an effort to “see” them. I’m not going to suggest how; this is where you get to play.
  2. Ask meaningful questions. We show people how much they matter by the questions we ask. For example: How can I make your day? Do you know how smart you are? Are you aware of all you have accomplished today? People’s feelings can be significantly changed, simply by your thoughtful questions.
  3. Show hope. How you interact with people you meet could be the stimulant that provides them with encouragement for a better day. Enthusiastically, let others know you believe in them and their potential. The idiom Hope Springs Eternal does infer promise. 🙂

6020413194_c10dfc7e67_m

A Trophic Cascade

“When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.” ~ John Muir

Trophic cascades are powerful indirect interactions that can control entire ecosystems. This 270-second video beautifully describes and illuminates the favorable affect of a recent trophic cascade. I’m sharing the video because, in my mind, it parallels our responsibilities and human role in a chain or cycle.

In July I added this post which highlighted how we, individually and collectively, can create ripple effects with our intentional actions. While the above video addresses fascinating wilderness recovery efforts, from a human perspective I was drawn to the aspects of and potential in:

  • giving life to others
  • changing behaviors
  • regenerating significance
  • how, even in small numbers, we can effect change

3113259723_ccaa717ed1_mJust as wolves initiated this trophic cascade, there exist opportunities to teach ourselves about our positive and vital role in human interactions. This, I believe, we call humanitarianism.

If you are interested in or inclined to introduce a ‘humanitarian cascade’ you can consider these three practices:

  1. Acknowledge and reward constructive behavior. The key to behavioral change is understanding how motivation works in different environments. Observe how people are using their surroundings and resources to benefit others and to promote growth. Help them to see and appreciate the longer-term affects of their contributions.
  2. Lend your voice. Often the powerless, the homeless, the neglected in our world need someone to speak up for them, lest they become overwhelmed by their environments. You need not take the cause on by yourself, but join others in signing petitions, speaking up in a public forum, writing letters, and otherwise making a need heard.
  3. Be kind. Always. Scientific evidence has proven that kindness changes the brain, impacts the heart and immune system, and may even be an antidote to depression. We’re genetically wired to be kind. When we’re kind our bodies are healthiest. Love and kindness can make a damaged heart regenerate faster and when coupled with compassion, can alter the neural structures of our brains.

12923000094_21dc1743d0_m

What Gets Under Your Skin?

There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot make a difference in this world: Those who are afraid to try themselves, and those who are afraid that you will succeed.” ~ Roy Goforth

Rarely, at least with this blog, do I drift into the personal opinion sphere. It’s simply not the focus for this communication vehicle. Yet, as with many (most?) of us, every now and then something rocks us so significantly that we need to release… to engage ourselves and invite others to do so too.

Sometimes it helps to let things go because we cannot influence a desired outcome. Other times, the itch under our skin (and that may be putting it mildly) warrants more than just scratching. If a cause or opportunity is our number one priority, we’d easily invest more of our valuable time and energy into securing a meaningful solution.

But in some ‘lesser’ cases, calls to action are timely and desperately needed.

Yesterday’s post reminded and encouraged me that we can effect positive change. We can initiate or conjoin a ripple. A ripple of hope! So let us consider taking action, in whatever form you are capable and comfortable… to end the strife, the hate, loss of precious life, and the overt acts against humanity in the Middle East.

I believe most of us subscribe to and embrace the concepts of respect, compassion, and dignity. Do not think or believe that you, individually, cannot effect change. Even small change. It’s too easy to be passive or think negatively. Be a ripple!

One Small Touch

“Each time someone stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, they send forth a tiny ripple of hope.” ~ Robert F. Kennedy

Some, perhaps many, of us have learned: We did not have to do something amazing to initiate growth. A small action can go a long way. It doesn’t take a boulder to create a ripple effect in the water. A finger is enough. As everything is interconnected in life, we only need be brave enough to take the first, maybe very small step. Before we know it, we may realize that we are a ripple effect.

A ripple effect is a situation where, like the ever-expanding ripples across the water when an object is dropped into it, an effect from the initial state can be followed outward incrementally. Applied to our lives, everything we do and think affects people in our lives and their reactions in turn affect others. The choices you make have far reaching consequences. Not surprisingly then, each of us carries within us the capacity to change the world in small ways for better or worse.

Examples of ripple effect can be found in economics, social interactions, charitable activities, financial markets, political influence, compassionate action and so on. The concept helps to explain how individual and grassroots efforts can yield significant change.

Case in point: A Harvard University study was conducted on a large, real world social network. It used modern statistical methods to analyze data from the Framingham Heart Study. It found that if a friend of a person became happy, the person’s chance of becoming happy increased by about 15%. If a friend of a friend became happy it increased by about 10% and a friend of a friend of a friend by almost 6%. This event occurred even if the person had never met many of the people involved.

If we can synchronize our intentions and actions toward common goals, our independent waves will continue to add to each other as they travel out through energetic fields. The result will be much greater than we can manifest independently.

Here are three ways in which you can initiate ripple effect:

  1. I’m not promoting this; it’s simply an example: For just US$4 you can provide a child with clean water. Consider joining the Ripple Effect movement and invest US$4 every month to save and improve lives. You’ll contribute to a wave of positive change and watch as the waves get bigger and bigger, bringing clean water, better health, and new opportunities to countless in great need.
  2. Move forward so that you are in your best place possible including relationships, health, career, and spirituality. To effectively help others, you often have to have gone through difficult experiences in order to relate to others. But you also have to know how to grow from those experiences and to use them to benefit yourself and others. If you succeed and “walk your walk,” others can and will be more open to your insight and ways.
  3. Your influence and ability to effect change will grow as your ripples flow outward. Consider smiling at someone you don’t know, acting instead of just thinking, initiating a thoughtful gesture, or alleviating a stranger’s pain. Do good things. Small things. Humbly. For others.