Thursday, January 1, 2015

Resolution for Change

Resolve to use social media as tool to enact positive change.

I saw a young boy yesterday challenge a hardware sales associate to find a meter stick for his school project.  Perplexed, the sales associate consulted others by radio to no avail.  By the time the boy's mother arrives she is clearly dumbfounded by the associate's shrug and ignorance of the item.  She goes on to describe a wooden stick with measurements indicated.  The associate grins, takes them to a shelf,  and proudly produces a yard stick.  "No", she says, "it's longer, a meter stick, you know to measure millimeters and centimeters."

It's an insignificant transaction, but it brings to my mind how resistant to positive change we are as a society.   How stupid we must look to the rest of the world when we stubbornly cling to outmoded ways. Is it stubbornness, superiority, stupidity, laziness, greed, or just human nature that hold back our progress?

Perhaps it's all of the above. My gut tells me though we're running out of time waiting for common sense change to simply happen.  I see too many politicians, corporate executives, journalists, administrators, educators, leaders, and others seemly imprisoned by the status quo. History shows some go so far as to even enshrine stagnation by enacting laws or building barriers to prevent and bury change.  So what to do?

Social media now enables a near universal access to news of scientific finding, evolving technology, religious freedom, corporate greed, political wrongdoing, human rights, fairness, justice, etc. -- increasingly there seems no reason for common folks armed with knowledge to wait for their leaders, they can act on their own. My motivation came two days ago via radio.

Book cover: What to do when it's your turn, by Seth Godin

I heard an interview with Seth Godin regarding his new book, What to do when it's your turn. (and it's always your turn).  

One particular thought of his really resonated with me (and has inspired this blog), the idea that you owe it to the world to pick up the microphone and say something meaningful.  He advises that your efforts might work and they might not but that’s OK.  Not to run away from the fear, but not to ignore it either. He said, "The ability to live in that tension and discover what you can do in the midst of that… that is artistry."

Well artistry or not, my microphone is now turned on to spur change.

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Positive success stories are welcome.