Dear Readers, It is with immense joy and gratitude that I announce the release of my book Everyday Ambassador on Amazon.com! I hope that you will pre-order a copy of the book for yourself, and a copy for anyone in your life who aspires to make a positive difference in the world. Some of you have followed …
What I think Godin gets right is that being successful in your life–including in your job, in your relationships with family and friends, and in your personal self-care–has almost nothing to do with natural born talents, and almost everything to do with a hard-working attitude (resilience and persistence), excellent communication skills, and those four ‘EA values’ we love talking about so much: focus, empathy, patience, and humility. These are traits that go untested, for the most part, in school and in our extra-curriculars. But these are the traits that allow us to be good to ourselves and to others, that allow us to confront the very real (and very inevitable) challenges in our work and personal lives.
With this Syrian crisis is in its fourth year, I wonder how long we can tag something a crisis when we don’t respond to it as such? At the same time, I understand many people block out news from Syria or think little about it precisely because it seems so far beyond our ability to help. To bring attention to the tragedy of only 0.16% of refugees being offered asylum outside the region, I’ve identified 16 organizations currently providing emergency medical care, hygiene and sanitation services, education and psycho-social support, and safe shelter to refugees still in the region.
Now that it has played out, I see this ALS Challenge as a strikingly powerful example of our power to change the world for the better through the use of social media. Sure, it would be amazing if we could galvanize people to cough up $41 million for lifesaving research without requiring public pranking. But until we get there, you and I have many potential roles we can play in raising awareness, funds, and support for causes that resonate with our life experience or common sense.
We live in a digitally connected society where empathy is easier to cultivate than ever before. I can’t escape that imagine of Mike Brown’s mother on my social media channels. Even if I’ve never lived the experience of a young, black man, I’m reading it and hearing it and cannot ignore it. The trick is, can we translate that incredible exposure to someone else’s struggle into change in our own lives?
When I lived in NYC, I learned a very important and intriguing lesson that launched me off on my career in global citizenry: no matter how very different we look, dress, and life our lives, we all share so much in common. The ultimate NYC blog that has captured these sentiments — “Humans of New York” (HONY) — is now setting off on a 50-day international journey to document lives all over the planet. I hope you’ll choose to follow HONY; the more we expose ourselves to those who, initially, seem very ‘different’ than us, the more we begin to see common themes, break down stereotypes, build new relationships, increase our tolerance, minimize our assumptions, and live more peaceful lives.
Ebola is not only a serious public health threat for people in and around West Africa; it’s a global threat, thanks to how easily we travel nowadays. Living in a globalized world truly means that one nation’s crisis—whether it’s public health, terrorism, or murderously oppressive states—is a crisis for each of us. Do what you can to minimize suffering; sometimes your power is more than you think.