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Committing to kindness

publication date: Jul 25, 2013
author/source: Christina Hemens

Committing to one act of kindness is a very easy action to make. But can we commit to doing it every single day? I am not sure. Previously, I have talked about living my life mindful of the ripple effect; everything I do ripples out and affects the rest of the world. I wonder what kind of change we could make if we each did a purposeful act of kindness every day.Christina Hemens photo

In my previous article, A compelling risk, I discussed how fear can hold us back from our compulsions. Well, here we are at step two of the (Me)volution journey: commitment. Fortunately, each step can take as little or as much time as each of us needs. Many of the individuals portrayed in (Me)volution were able to commit immediately. Some of them took ten years to decide it was time. Some made lifelong commitments and others donated $5.00. But everyone made a difference.

As a community we can start small: one simple act of kindness each day. Watch as you become familiar with being philanthropic outside of your job. Begin to listen to your compulsion to create greater change. Decide when you will commit to your journey. (Me)volution authors Tony Myers and Jon Duschinsky affirm that “it is a phase of commitment – fostering the feeling that ‘I will’ do something – that causes movement to happen.”

Committing at work

Let’s apply this to your view of your organization. You have already committed to helping the world by working in this sector, but have you committed to all you can do? Have you committed to the mission of your organization? Do you leave the office every day feeling that you have fulfilled your mission? Deciding to commit, no matter at what level, will allow you to flourish in your workplace.

If you were to go to every organization in Canada and ask every employee what the mission of their organization is and what it means, how many could provide an answer? I am betting a lot could, but I am also sure it isn’t 100%. Your organizational community can grow stronger if everyone knows, understands and commits to your mission. Then your level of commitment to your work is higher, no matter the size of the task, and your ripple effect will grow.

Commitment in a life

Angie Docking is the Development Intern for Individual Giving at Young People’s Theatre in Toronto. In a recent chat, she and I agreed there is no way to rank the world’s problems – you cannot rank one person’s needs as more important than another’s. I asked her how she continues to pursue her career in a specific sector; arts, when she is so passionate about so many other world issues.

Angie responded that the world needs moderation. We cannot fix or help one thing to an extreme without the rest of the world falling apart. She explained that if each of us follows and commits to our passion we will have the ability, as a whole, to create a bigger difference that we thought was possible.

When I asked her why she decided to work in philanthropy, she responded, “I like to describe philanthropy as a synonym for empathy. As fundraisers, we come to work every day in order to create capacity for empathy. To me, that makes it the coolest job in the world.”

Tony Myers recently sent me an email and so aptly wrote “As daunting as ‘changing the world’ may be, the key to it is to do so one ‘act’ at a time.” What will your act of kindness be tomorrow? Will you let it grow into your very own (Me)volution or will you leave it as the first of many moments of your ripple effect?

Angie allows us to believe that every compulsion we have will impact our world positively if we only commit to doing it. It’s time to commit to your (Me)volution. Next week we will explore the point in the (Me)volution journey where we find our confidence and begin thinking about how to let others join us.

Connect with the (Me)volution community through Facebook. Twitter, or its blog.

Christina Hemens was drawn to philanthropy while growing up in Muskoka, Ontario. At Concordia University in Montreal, she honed her philanthropic spirit and passion for fundraising. After completing her post-graduate certification in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from Humber College she is now Marketing and Communications Coordinator at (me)volution, where she is able to create a positive difference in her lifetime.

Contact her through @ChristinaHemens or by email.

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