Last year, I wrote that 2007 would be the year of video marketing. Indeed, no great prophesy there. We saw the explosion of You Tube and I saw a few mediators with video testimonials on their sites. Some law firms were using video.
As we move into another year, this past year having been another grand adventure full of more trials than I wanted to endure. Yet, for everything there is a season. The second half of this year has been my season of grief. The entire year was my season of planting new seeds. A season of transition, clearing out the clutter from the past so that when the time is right, I can spring forth into new areas of growth. The harvest will come in due season.
During this season, I chose to embrace the pain and loss and not to run from it or pretend it didn’t exist. Opening up to mourn the multitude of losses. Sometimes it’s a lost dream. A lost friendship. Not to minimize the greatest loss but to accept that losses come in many different shapes and sizes. Don’t be afraid to mourn your losses for true healing can only come this way. We all have experienced loss in some way shape or form.
And now, we are on the brink of newness, the glistening hope of a bright and shiny new year with that new car smell, beckons me to hold out my hand and grab ahold of my destiny in a more complete and compelling way in 2008. I stand with the scars of the battles, the wisdom that can come only through trials, paradoxically reaching out to a new season with the innocence of youth.
How are you going to make a difference in 2008? Large or small, anonymously or not, who are you going to intentionally serve?
At our recent holiday dinner with my new job, we asked everyone to say his or her “awe inspiring goal” for 2008.
One attorney told the story of another lawyer in our firm who created a program at the local YMCA for autistic children. His son being autistic, he had no organized sports or activities he could join in.
It should not be your motive, but philanthropic activities are good for your business. You make contacts and connections. You may have articles written about you, this attorney did.
I am definitely not saying to do charity so you will get noticed or because it will somehow help you grow your practice. Indeed it is possible these will be unintended consequences. You do it because you want to serve. You do it because you desire to give of yourself to others, to use what you have been given in a positive way to make a change.
I haven’t yet decided how I am going to get involved, but here are some things I’ve come across lately:
1) Mediators Beyond Borders — www.mediatorswithoutborders.org. See Ken Cloke’s (President) post about getting involved here.
2) Oprah interviewed Richard Branson in the December issue of O magazine (I found it lying around our resort on vacation). Branson has formed a group of “Elders” committed to stop wars, promote peace, stamp out diseases and curb global warming. www.theelders.org. Billionaire Branson has the means to make a huge difference — but every one of us has the ability to make a difference, whether it is in the life of one child or in the lives of thousands. Start small. You don’t have to be a billionaire to begin giving back.
3) Bono’s ONE campaign: www.one.org — The Campaign To Make Poverty History. Bono contends that we will be judged harshly if we do not do everything in our power to end poverty and the AIDS pandemic. I saw Bono speak (on video) in a 2006 Leadership Summit and he has a powerful message.
4) Habitat for Humanity: www.habitat.org or www.habitat-nola.org (New Orleans chapter). Why not help with the rebuilding effort after the Katrina or other disasters?
5) Women for Women International — www.womenforwomen.org.
6) Heifer International — helping to end poverty www.heifer.org.
I like the notion of teaching someone to fish. You know the old adage, give a man a fish and he has food for one day, teach him to fish and he has food for a lifetime (or something like that!). Empowering people through resources, microlending, skills and training to improve their situation.
7) Kiva - www.kiva.org — you can be a microlender!
Closer to home, there may be homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and many other organizations that you can contribute your time, money or talent to. Even coaching your kids in sports is giving of yourself. You can make a difference wherever you are. Start today.
Let’s make a difference in 2008.
Fellow mediation bloggers, shout out your project. Perhaps we can unite forces to do well by doing good in the world.
Happy New Year!
NEVER GIVE UP! The world needs you to make a difference in your corner of the world.