Zen is you – Be.

How are you helping?

Posted in ideas, impact by dave225 on September 14, 2008

That question has stuck with me for years… My next door neighbor, Marty was painting the garage one day when his son Ben (about 7 years old a the time) came running by, doing some childish nonsense.. whatever it was, Marty said to him, “Ben, how are you helping?”  Ben was a great kid.  That question was all it it took for him to realize that he was doing anything but being helpful.

I always wanted to make a bumpersticker that said, “How are you helping?”  Not just to get people to start thinking about whether or not they are doing enough to help, but because so many bumperstickers send a message of aggression;  And how is that helping?

So this past week, as the political campaigns have really started to ramp up and the candidate bashing has started to get ugly, I ask, “How are you helping?”  To whom are you pointing out the weaknesses of the other side’s candidate?  Are you singing to your own choir?  Are you engaging in battle with the other side?  You’re not going to win.  Bashing the candidates only make the other side hostile – it doesn’t change their vote.  And as for your own side, I once again call on Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “Great minds discuss ideas; Average minds discuss events; Small minds discuss people.”  If you want to convice someone to vote for your side, discuss ideas.  Talk about what you think our society needs the most right now.  If you want to convince someone, convince them that your ideas are important.  If you get them to agree, they’ll see through the campaign bullshit and pick the best person to uphold that point of view.

And if you want to make an impact, you may need to go outside of your own neighborhood.  Although there are people near me who don’t share my ideals and won’t vote the way I vote, I know which way the scale will tip in November for my precinct.  It’s the electoral votes two hours away from me that have me worried.

You want to make a difference.  You can put a lot of time and energy into being active.  Yes, it takes a lot of energy to stay busy.  Work, work, work all day performing duties.  But the measure of impact is the output, not the input.  So how are YOU helping?

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