Sustainability Tools | JDC EXEC
Intend for your Community
Janine Do Cabo | Sustainability & Leadership Development | JHB, SA
Empowerment. A word which by definition means, authority or power given to someone to do something. It comes in many different forms and over the 20th century it took on different faces from black empowerment to women empowerment to so much more, each allowing people who were previously disadvantaged to have a fair chance at life.
IN10TIONALITY for your community can be a form of empowerment at its onset. Before groups or organizations are formed surrounding a common goal or objective, the heart of one man or woman has to have been touched to have the drive to change the world they live in and help others change theirs too.
An individual being IN10TIONAL in their community was depicted in the adorable 1999 novel written by Catherine Ryan Hyde which was adapted into a movie, which if watched is not easily forgotten. It was entitled, Pay it forward. One of my favorite movies off all time. It’s about an 11-year-old who turns his school project into a movement when instead of returning a favour, he pays it forward, each time encouraging others to do the same and in so doing creating a chain of loving helpful individuals, who empower each other to change the world of the person they paying if forward to.
Paying it forward is two-fold. For the one receiving the favour, it’s a need met and for the one paying it forward, it’s a desire that is fulfilled. A powerful statement yes, but in-built in us all is a desire to help our fellow brother and sister with the hopes of feeling significant. John Maxwell once said, “When you become more intentional, your life can transform from successful to significant.” The same can be said about becoming IN10TIONAL about your community to be significant in the lives of those around you. Being social at our core, we feel good when we help others whether on a subconscious or conscious level- we all want to make a difference in the lives of those around us.
In an article written in Psychology Today, the trifecta of the happiness hormones was discussed. Hormones which consist of serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin. In summary, it says that where serotonin is said to be released through sleep, digestion, memory, learning and appetite, dopamine connected to motivation and arousal and oxytocin to cuddling, that all three are released when we give!
Paying it forward to affect change can be on a large scale if you’re in the position to create jobs for people or are able open up community centres that teach people skills to come out of their situations. Make a difference in one person’s life, influence a family. Make a difference in a community, influence a city. Make a difference in a city, influence a generation. If, however, you don’t have the resources for effecting a large-scale difference a small-scale should not be seen as less significant. Instead, consider how impactful the positive actions you may have on one person that can create a domino effect when they, in turn, influence their family, and that family, influences a community.
Le Bron James a NBA pro athlete, turned philanthropist and businessman, had a rough start to life when the man he called dad was incarcerated and unable to provide him with the structure he needed to be successful at both school and life. As a result, he was unfocused and undisciplined missing as many as 100 school days in his fourth-grade year. It was only when a sports mentor came into his life, did his world begin to change. Having someone to look up to provided Le Bron with the much-needed stability to become an Olympic gold medallist, the number 1 pick in the 2003 NBA draft and be an estimated nett worth today of almost $500 million! In response to how this mentor set him on the track of success, Le Bron paid it forward by determining to help kids who are at risk of falling behind to keep up to speed with their studies by opening an “I Promise,” school. Little did Le Brons mentor know that the simple act of becoming a father figure to a child who had none, would be apart of a life-changing school which has given hope, saved life provides education, trauma counseling, and meals as well to communities who would not have had those opportunities before.
There is no greater feeling in the world than blessing someone else and you never know who you could be paying it forward to. It could be a simple word of encouragement that saves someone from committing suicide. A meal for a family who was down to their very last. Or mentoring a 9-year old child who may go on to becoming a world changer. Remember that each time you give of your time, resources or compassion you’re empowering someone.
Make a difference – Start with one person. Empower someone today.
Loving, and giving in living!