Joel’s newsletter on Everyday Heroes, Dcember 2, 2009
An ezine about Creative thinking, Coaching, and Making a difference
It's one thing to hear about abuse or suffering in other parts of the world, or even in your own neighborhood. It's quite another thing to take the initiative and do whatever it takes to provide a solution.
To me it's always inspiring to hear about people who are selflessly doing good in the world. Last week I caught a glimpse of CNN Heroes on TV. These everyday people mentioned on CNN were providing wheelchairs to Iraqi children, running an orphanage in Indonesia, educating gang members in the Phillipines, organizing a band for New Orleans youngsters, protecting Zimbabwe girls from sexual abuse, and several other noble endeavors.
Take Jorge Muñoz of Queens NY, for example, the CNN hero who happens to live closest to my area of NJ. Every evening, after driving a school bus all day, he comes home and cooks meals for hungry unemployed men waiting on the street corner near his home. He has been providing up to 140 meals every single evening for over three years. Originally he bought and cooked all the food himself and with his family; now he receives help and donations. When I first heard this story I was amazed and found it hard to imagine how anyone could do all that, so consistently and so selflessly. Now I see what's possible.
Like so many other Americans, I feel sorry for the starving children in Africa and other unfortunate people of the world, but I've got too much to do already, taking care of my own needs and trying to make ends meet. Yet I admire those individuals like the CNN heroes who, rather than sending a check to a charity organization, go out and get creative and really make a difference.
Why would someone like Jorge spend a third of his salary and several hours a day feeding other people, most of whom he doesn't even know? I believe that it's a basic human impulse to help others and contribute to the greater good. It's not about obligation or a desire for recognition, but rather an understanding that we are all human and in some sense, we are all one. So helping another is really helping ourselves. When you come from pure service, it's a very good, fulfilling feeling. And when you really take on a commitment like that, it can provide a whole new level of meaning to your life.
Why deny ourselves the opportunity to experience the kind of fulfillment and meaning that comes from serving and making a difference? Yes, I get too busy just like everyone else, but I still feel a need to do something. It doesn't have to be a big massive project. There are countless ways to contribute; all it takes is to look for a need and think about what you have to offer. And a passion for whatever you get involved in. It could be helping one person or a thousand. It could take a few minutes or a lifetime - whatever you feel called to do.
I'll write more about this topic of service to others in an upcoming issue, but for now I'm interested in learning about how you feel. Do you feel called to do something to make a difference in the world? Maybe you have a passion to improve a particular situation, but don't know how to get started. Or maybe you need more time and resources. Or perhaps you feel a desire to do something, but are not sure exactly what it is. Or maybe you're already doing it! If you feel any kind of calling to make the world better in some way, I would love to hear more about it. Please let me know if I can include your response and your name in this newsletter. You may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 973-701-1007. I look forward to hearing from you!
Creative thinking tip
Not just another one of "those". We tend to pass off things that look like something we've seen many times before. Oh that's just another one of those marketing emails. Or it's one of those fast food joints. Or even, he's one of "those" guys; I don't think I want to talk to him. We all do this, very frequently. It's a form of judgment - putting things into a category and then ignoring them.
A creative thinking tip is to look for the uniqueness in everything. Even things that you may have seen hundreds of times before. Look at it as if it were the first time. If, at least once in a while, you can stop and look at something that you may have passed off as just another one of "those", you may be surprised at what you find. It can be fascinating to see the uniqueness, the details, what's beneath the surface. It might even lead to a new creative idea.
For example, I just picked up a penny. Oh, I know, it's just another penny. But when I look more closely, I see the discoloration and feel the weight of it. I can see the details of the inscription. This penny has a history. Hmm, what if each penny had unique message on it, like a fortune cookie? Then people might look forward to receiving pennies as change, just to find out their fortune for the day. Just a little creative thinking here. :-)
Quote of the week
"Often we set out to make a difference in the lives of others only to discover we have made a difference in our own." - Ellie Braun-Haley
I find this so true. There is nothing quite like the feeling you get yourself when you do something for others. That gives a new sense of purpose to life, and the selfless service often comes back to us in unexpected ways.
This newsletter is written by Joel Remde, to receive this newsletter via email contact email@example.com. I welcome your comments and feedback; that will help me learn what you’re interested in and also make this a better newsletter.
Learn more about The Creative Thinking Coach at www.coachjoel.com
MORE Perspectives by Coach Joel Remde
7 Habits Of Highly Creative People
Creative Thinking and Life Potentials
Ways To Respond To Problems
Potential and Possibilities
Making A Difference
Meanings And Opportunities
A Vision Makes A Difference
A Tribute To Don Hewitt
Lessons From The River
What Is Creative Thinking?
It's All About Energy
More On Energy
Place Of Power
Buildings And Values
Small Town Trauma
Voting And Choosing
Veterans And Gratitude
Thanksgiving, Thankfulness And More
Remembering Jim Rohn - A Great Philosopher
Love One Another
A Look At The Year
Happy New You
Creativity And The Economy