Feeling Empowered and Making a Difference

March 23, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If you have ever thought you were too small to make a difference, you’ve never tried to sleep with a mosquito in the room.

This is one of my favourite quotes as it demonstrates through our own sleepless experiences while camping or in your own bedroom, the impact that a lone mosquito can have. This can be translated into the many examples of individuals who have harnessed their daily thoughts and actions to affect positive change within their spheres of influence. Rather than being caught in a cycle of ‘what can I possibly do’ or blaming others for challenges or lack of action, many individuals connect with their potential in the various areas of their lives and those of others.

We are constantly telling and hearing stories of the events of daily life. As Jessica Jackely speaks about in the attached TED Talk, these stories really matter. They influence greatly the feelings of individual empowerment and the difference that we are able to make in our own lives and those of others. We are constantly interpreting the world and making choices, either consciously or unconsciously, about who we are and the connection that we have with others and the world around us. The connection or disconnection that we experience will then affect the daily thoughts and actions that can move us closer or further away from our individual and collective goals and potential.

The example given by Jessica Jackely is her journey through decisions around giving and poverty. Her connection to feelings of disempowerment while making a difference in this area were established early on in life. Until she reflected on experiences that made it real for her, listening to an inspiring example of micro finance from Muhammad Yunus and resetting her way of thinking around the challenges that existed, she was unable to find authentic ways to engage in this area. This I believe is not a unique story, more one that is a shared journey by all of us within the global village. Growing our awareness and appreciation of  the role that we can all play in engaging with and honouring our own story and the stories of others leads us closer to creating a global village of informed connected and empowered individuals who believe deeply in their own potential and that of others. This is part of an ongoing conversation that Explore Discover Act would like to engage in, reflecting on our vision and how our programs and interactions can support this.

Kiva is a fantastic example of retelling the story of poverty. Being able to empower the giver who loans small amounts of capital, as well as the receiver who over time pays this money back, is a wonderful way of positively influencing the dialogue around this issue. Having seen first hand, during my time living in Africa as well as in our own communities, the pride that an individual or group experiences when they are able to be assisted with a hand up (skills training, micro finance, education, etc.) rather than a hand out, results in the positive ripple effect flowing through the family and their community. Interdependence can be established, an authentic sharing of passions, gifts and talents to more accurately reflect the connection that we share as human beings.

Watching this talk I am reminded of the power of empowerment when authentically engaging with life. The honesty, compassion and love required when telling our own story and listening to the stories of others. The scale of change that is possible when we promote connection and interdependence. How important our daily thoughts and actions are, that have been developed through the many influences that we have had. The difference we are all able to make!

What are you reminded of when you reflect on this quote or TED Talk?

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