Saturday, November 21, 2009

Making it Better

First, I wanted to share one little thing that happened on my way to work the other day. Well, I shouldn't be stopping by Dunkin Donuts; but when I went through the drive-thru lane and after ordering a coffee and blueberry muffin, I got a surprise. I pulled up to the window to pay and the cashier said, “You don't owe me anything. The person ahead of you paid for yours.” The lady in the red SUV was long gone. Now, that has never happened to me. I had a big smile on my face though, and it made me think about what a better world we would have if we had more like the lady in the red SUV.

And then when I opened the e-mail this morning from Idealist, my earlier experience took on a greater meaning.

What is proposed (the short version) is:

In one sentence: It’s time to build a global network that will serve and support all those people who want to make the world a better place, online and in person.

The key to doing this is to bypass all those specific issues that can overwhelm and divide us, and instead focus on three challenges that affect all of us:

1. There is often a big gap between our good intentions and our actions.
2. Our problems are connected, but we are not.
3. The world is full of good ideas that don't spread quickly enough.

What we need, then, is a network, a movement, an ecosystem that will:

* Make it easier for people and organizations to move from intentions to action.
* Connect people, organizations, and resources in every possible way.
* Find good ideas wherever they are, and distribute them as widely as possible.

If we can do this, and do it well, most of our local and global challenges will be easier to deal with.

So, I have signed up. I need a mission. Maybe this is it. Maybe we could stop saying, "That's a shame. It shouldn't be that way." Maybe, boldly, we could actually make it better.

Happy Saturday from the Land of Lincoln my cyber-friends.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Who You Gonna Believe

Running in to the Jewel for a few random items like whole milk for Nicolas (he’s visiting later today while his mom and dad attend a wedding in Chicago), I took a few moments to glance at the tabloids lining the checkout lane. Wow, I am worried. According to the Globe, President Obama has lung cancer. Republican right-winger Sarah Palin might ought to stay closer to home, because one tab reports her husband is cheating on her. Or did I get that wrong, and she cheated on him?

Ever since the National Enquirer got it right when it broke news of John Edwards’ affair, I look at these salacious pubs with a different eye. Could they be right? Anyway, they make fodder for speculation and help pass the time in line. Happy Saturday!