Monday, January 9, 2012

Challenge Accepted: Make the World a Better Place

Though I have been playing blog catch-up lately, when I came across Maddie Grant's great post/challenge on what steps each of us plan to take in 2012 to make the world a better place I could not resist responding. 

1. For the association world: Collaborate.  No, I am not talking about the ASAE social network platform (though it is a great place to connect with colleagues and get involved).  I am talking about associations working together to work together.  There are so many of us out there, and each association has the things it is REALLY good at, and those areas where we are constantly struggling (and pouring resources) to just tread water.  In 2012 I am going to identify those models I have that are the top 10% of what I see out there, and find corresponding associations that excel in other areas for the potential of collaboration.  If my association can help them with our model of success, and they can help us with theirs perhaps neither would waste so much time or resources in reinventing the wheel.

2. For the world world: Be polite.  It may sound very kindergarten, but I really believe that the power of 'please' and 'thank you' can win against a rude imperative any day.  It may not always be easy to accomplish this one in a frustrating situation, but if it was easy I guess it would not be something that takes an extra effort to do.  We want the world to be a more peaceful place?  The answer starts with the words I choose to use. 

3. For me: Pick Up Trash.  Ok, so the back story to this one is that I grew up in NJ near Six Flags Great Adventure.  I worked there for a summer or two (take it from me - you never want to run the Guess Your Age/Weight Booth) and Six Flags would give the staff 'bugs bucks' to spend on food/merchandise if they saw you setting an example.  One of the primary ways to earn bugs bucks - pick up trash instead of walking by it.  It has stuck to this day, and if I am about to walk over a piece of trash an internal pull tries to get me to pick it up and throw it away.  I guess I am going to start carrying hand sanitizer wherever I go, because in 2012 I am going to do my part.  The Earth doesn't need to wait for someone else to pick up the litter I walk over - I will make this world better by making it cleaner.

Not sure if these are really the deep, insightful ways that others have pledged to help the world in 2012 - but I think they at least have the right intention.

Happy New Year to all!


  1. Love! Picking up trash, particularly in my neighborhood, is one of my favorite small ways of taking care of the little corner of this big world where I live.

  2. You mention kindergarten and it reminds me of the Robert Fulghum book "All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten." People so easily forget the simple things in life that make it better, and collaborating and being polite and picking up trash are all things we learn early on in our lives. If we just remind ourselves of these little things, our lives and those lives around us will be better for it. :) Thanks for the reminder, Lowell - I'm going to be doing better at these three things as well.

  3. Funny Nikki - I forget about that book. Read it years ago, and loved it. I guess it is true - if we followed some of the basic rules and courtesies that we learned when we were younger, how much better would the world be? I am going to run an Ignite session at Great Ideas this year on a similar theme - Association Best Practices as told by Dr. Seuss and Other Bed Time Stories - should be fun!

    Elizabeth - I feel the same way. If each of us could just make a bigger small contribution, combined it would be huge!!