I don't see myself as the most profound or prolific blogger, in fact, noting the space between my blogs, it is obvious that I neglect my writings on a fairly regular basis. It's not that I don't have anything to say (just friend me on facebook and you'll see that to be true), it's just that sometimes we all look at a blank page and think "where do I even start?"
So I'll start here today:
My grandfather passed away this August 22, the day before the one-year anniversary of my step-father's death. I miss them both deeply . They were incredibly gentle and kind men, generous with their time, talent, and energy, who were much loved and appreciated by all around them. Few things, other than death, really make you reassess your life. I genuinely believe in the maxim "kindness counts." I think that we can be strong and confident in ourselves and our convictions to be gracious enough to set aside differences and focus on a greater good. That we can understand that "neighborhood" doesn't always mean the literal place in which we reside, but that we are fundamentally globally connected as well, that we are "neighbors" with one another on our planet. When we count the worth of our days, or quite frankly others do once we are gone, I think that we all just want to have meant something to someone, or to have made a positive difference in our actions. No one really wants to be remembered with bitterness, malice, or regret. The outpouring of love and support that I received from my family and friends was beyond measure. It simply exceeded any thought or expectation I might have had and continues to help me through some desperately sad moments.
But while navigating a deeply sorrowful moment, we also were celebrating a life well lived. We came together as a family to share in our memories, our laughter, and of course our tears, but by connecting with one another we perhaps made the burden of grief a bit more bearable for one another.
Because, as Melville said, "We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as courses, and they come back to us as effects."
It is why I supported the incredible Shot @Life "Bloggust" campaign which encouraged 31 amazing bloggers to share their story and with each comment made a $20 donation went to the campaign. This resulted in 11,349 comments being generated. $200,000 donated. 10,000 children immunized. Comments Count. They make a difference. They connected us with one another, with our "neighborhood." We supported one another, and in turn, supported a cause we all believe in. Our actions ran as a course, and they came back as a significant effect.
And now, an new opportunity to do good in the neighborhood. Next week I'm headed to New York to participate in the Mashable Social Good Summit. This three day conference will literally and virtually connect one another with each other with the shared goal and vision to use media and technology in such a way to make the world (our global neighborhood) a better place. I am honored to be an "official blogger" (gulp!) and to share with you what I learn and to learn from you as I share.
So whether we think locally and act locally, think globally and act globally, the point is we need to be actively engaged in our neighborhood, however we define that term. Groups such as RESULTS or Save the Children have local chapters that address local/state issues as well as opportunities to connect with global poverty elimination efforts as well. And whether you volunteer at your local school, food bank, church, or community center, or send action alerts about the issues you feel passionate about supporting to your elected leaders, or write a blog or tweet about what you are interested and engaged in/with, taking those actions will yield results.
As Henry Ford said "don't find a fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain." Let your legacy be one that you would be proud to leave behind. Do good in your neighborhood. Today.