One of my classmates shared this video with us. I wanted to share it with you. Just another reminder that WE ARE ALL INVOLVED!
I am back in my second semester of graduate school and we just had the first two days of our social change class. A year ago I was just applying to be here and it is absolutely shocking how in the short time I have learned so much and have become so close to so many incredible people. The following post is an entry I wrote after I applied to this graduate program. Finishing up two days in such an impactful class on social change adds support to what I was thinking before coming to Little Rock, AR.
Entry from January 29th, 2012
This last week I needed to write a short essay for something I am working on. After I wrote it, I thought it necessary to post it on the website to help describe what I mean and feel with the “We Are All Involved” campaign. Also, coming after a week where we had the state of the union address as well as the resignation of Gabrielle Giffords were great supporting reasons to post this essay.
WE ARE ALL INVOLVED
In the past few months, I have taken on my own personal mantra, “We are all involved”. We hear it when President Obama speaks and we hear it when the Republican candidates are in their debates, positive social action can only happen when we are all working together. Unfortunately, this can not only be said, but action needs to follow these statements in order to keep our integrity. For that reason, I identify as an activist; someone who is actively encouraging myself, as well as others, to be alive and conscious in our world, helping to better all of our communities.
Being alive and conscious means actively participating in the decisions that are being made around you while being vulnerable to the habitual resistance to social change that we constantly encounter. I feel with all my heart that with repeated action on how we have great impact on each other, positive social change will happen. With repeated action, education and responsibility, the curve for social involvement can increase tenfold. Repeated action, education and responsibility, I believe, would lead to a higher standard of social accountability in which not only would we collectively be there for one another, but we would hold each other accountable for our actions.
The vision of my mantra, “we are all involved”, would be to see constituents holding their elected officials accountable for their pre-elected campaign promises. In this vision, I see neighbors helping one another with childcare, ways of going green, and basic community actions that we have seemed to be lost throughout our country. This vision also has the highest value for our education; where teachers are not just babysitters, but are the educational hub to our society in which we praise them and give them the gratitude they deserve while holding them responsible for our future. This vision is heightened social involvement where we all benefit.
I feel an obligation to use my voice and interpersonal skills to invoke social involvement whenever I can. I see it done with my staff at work and with my friends in everyday situations. Much of my life has been in the restaurant world as a leader. My most valuable management technique is that I lead by example. Leading by example is the best way to accomplish heightened social involvement from any activist who may have similar goals because fortunately, people just need to see it being done. Once a path has been cleared, they will assist and add with verve and tenacity. Social action, social responsibility, social involvement or however one would like to title it can be accomplished once we all acknowledge that we are all involved!
Last semester, we were shown this in our leadership class. I thought it was appropriate with the inauguration tomorrow. Time to just be more awesome!
Thank you to everyone already helping out with the relief from Hurricane Sandy. In Queens in Long Island there is a place called the Rockaways that has been devastated. Unfortunately because of geography, local politics, damage and debris, clean up is not happening as efficiently and with a sense of urgency as it needs to. Temperatures are dropping and residents are without the tools to get through this. Below is a list of links for you to help or share. If you have links to add, please add them in comment boxes.
Right now, Project Kinect is in contact with local leaders in the Roackaways to get food, water and tools to them out of Little Rock, AR. If you are able to assist with this endeavor, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*If you donate money, Project Kinects asks that you first make sure you are donating to an organization that will be giving the procedes directly to those who are in need of relief.
Most immediate right now are: Please contact Project Kinect with any information on donations of the following goods
Work Boots: Mens sizes 11-14
Today I had the luxury to ride for four hours with someone who I have established a deep connection with since arriving to Little Rock. While driving, we began speaking about inspiration and how it impacts our daily lives. For anyone who has read my blog, followed Project Kinect or spent even just a little time with me most likely has been witness to my emphasis on inspiration. Inspiration is necessary in order to get positive change moving forward.
I thought that I would post a couple previous thoughts on the topic of inspiration. The first is from my blog while I was doing a two-week journey on figuring out what I was going to do next in my life. This is from the summer of 2010. If you’re interested, here is the beginning of the two week journey. Keep in mind it was an off the cuff experiment and was intentionally just written and not edited. Here is Day 7 discussing inspiration and making sure we have inspiration catalogued somewhere so we can easily access it.
Day 5 Beliefs and Inspiration
This is a post from June twenty-third of this year. It really gets to how inspiration leads to momentum.
Beginning with Inspiration
What do you do with inspiration once you have it? We have to remember that inspiration doesn’t always stem from a great or beautiful happening; it can be ugly and sad yet still inspiring. To be inspired, you just need something that triggers a movement inside you. Something that is compelling or moving enough to make you sad, angry, extremely happy or so overwhelmed that you have to find out more about that particular subject and share it with someone. That is inspiration.
Unfortunately, inspiration gets lost much too quickly today. It gets lost because we don’t want to notice it or we have so many other “important” things happening, that we let it fall to the side where it can just be an amazing feeling one moment followed by the next task, or, we are just too lazy to do anything about it. When we are struck with an inspiration, we often look at it with an all or nothing attitude. A forty something man or woman sees a professional hockey game or figure skating competition and think to themselves “I really wish I could do that but it’s too late for that”. Well yes, it is too late for you to get the next gold medal in the Olympics, but the inspiration there is not all or nothing. In our realm of life, there are so many ways that we can use that moment of inspiration and make it into a tangible action that moves forward and gains momentum. For these two forty something adults, they could sponsor a skate team, start a fundraiser to buy skates for children in their community, learn how to skate or take their children skating. There is so much space in between all and nothing that we have freedom to let an inspiration guide us.
I find it funny in a way that we so often say to ourselves, “but what can I do?” when somehow, we can watch a singing competition on television and are able to call in and vote. We are inspired by the performance to pick up the phone and make that call to vote yet we still say in our everyday lives, “what can I do?”
As I continue to show you what I am doing through my project, Project Kinect, please really start answering that question to what you can do? There are so many possibilities that many are probably not even thought up yet in your head. While we have been helping at the kitchen next to the once Church of Christ, a woman who had been stopping by for supplies found herself inspired by what was happening at this kitchen. She found herself with nothing but time and now she is volunteering two days a week there at the kitchen.
Inspiration is just the start to creating something possible and real for anybody. Many times, inspiration can just be what gets an idea going. The idea itself inspires someone to use their resources which then builds into a large united change from a cycle of inspired thoughts stemmed from one person. Never underestimate how large or small your contribution is when inspiration pipes its vocal chords. Anything you do when you are inspired is greater than not doing anything at all. It just takes a conscious effort of not sliding into an all or nothing attitude but, finding out what is in your reach that you can make a contribution.
Inspiration is really just momentum; Kinetic energy that is sitting there ready to move forward through some vehicle one way or another. The next time you feel that momentum, test yourself and see if there is something you can do with it to benefit someone else. I think that moment, that small millisecond of a moment, right there is the moment that each one of us has the ability to change who we are as a whole society and possibly get ourselves moving in a more positive direction. We are all involved.
This was TED talk reintroduced to me in our communications class a couple weeks ago. It reminds us the importance of vulnerability and what in means in the realm of connecting to one-another. Enjoy.
Melissa Harris Perry filled in for Rachel Maddow last Friday and she had a conversation about Civic Faith. The main quote that comes out of this for me was “Democracy will fail if we don’t trust eachother.” This is definitely worth a look and completely in need of further discussion.
Today is the day to feel like a community. Whether we are together watching fireworks, with loved ones at a barbecue, or just staying in the air conditioning watching the festivities, we get the chill that causes our hairs to stand up because we feel one and complete as a country. Unfortunately, that feeling needs to be able to happen more than one day a year. We need to find a way that we are constantly standing side by side, ready to support one another in the good times and the bad instead of being ready to pounce on one-another’s jugular because we don’t see eye to eye on every point.
This country was built on the freedom of having our own views, creating our own lives without taxation and the ability to have fair representation. We are all together in this and we all created the circumstances that we are in. Now together, on our independence day, lets really start looking at how to move into the future as one organized group who are unified and strong, not fighting and weak. Everyone of us have worth, we just have to find that out together.
We Are All Involved!
Thank you for visiting Project Kinect. For those who are new to this website and are not familiar to Project Kinect, please spend some time with my journey page. Project Kinect was originally a year-long grassroots travel project to create a new definition for the word community. From March of 2011 to February of 2012, I traveled the country discovering what different forms of communities are doing to better themselves while documenting these findings in order to share with other communities in similar circumstances. The website is built so that you can see what I did, who I met and other extraordinary things that were happening in other parts of the country. If you would like to just watch some or all of the videos, please check out the Youtube Channel for Project Kinect.
For everyone who wants to continue following Project Kinect, please continue to check out the website. I will continue to add great things I see that involves connecting and community as well will continue to respond to emails and posting your great events to the community boards in your different cities. Also, make sure you continue to check current kinecting as well as the work in progress, The Norman Rockwell Project.
In the future, I have plans to create Project Kinect into a nonprofit that primarily works on assisting in community growth whether it is a community that needs to rebuild after a natural disaster or a neighborhood that desperately needs help and resources to regain it’s sense of community. Until then, I will be getting my masters at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock. I will keep all of the great things me and my fellow classmates are doing right here on the website so you can follow along as well as take any volunteer opportunities that may come up because of our activities.
Thank you all for the continued support and please email me with any additions, comments or events you would like to share with me and Project Kinect by emailing email@example.com.