Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Ideas vs Action - And the Birth of a Hope-ist?

Yesterday I had a decent idea.

It started with an old friend saying that she had a couple of "Up With People" dreams, and one dream involved letting alumni travel for 6 week mini-tours. (We both traveled in Cast D'90…a one year adventure with 107 students traveling the world learning, singing, dancing, and promote the concept that we're all connected)

My response?

"IBM has a program that takes employees for 6 weeks into developing regions to help with basics. Imagine if Up With People did that? Organize a 6 week focused program for alumni to gather in groups of 10-12 and apply their skills to help a struggling community. Not only do we have experience from our year of travel, but we have a life-time of learning under our belts we didn't have when we first toured…we could help others even more."

I thought that was pretty good. And lately, since I've really struggled with my purpose in my last 1/2 of life,  I pondered what I wrote

...and did some googling

...and followed up with this

"So I want to name this program, and it made me think that if this were an actual thing, it would accomplish exactly the opposite of terrorism….and we could be exactly the opposite of a terrorist. So I look up "antonym of terrorism"…

…and interestingly there isn't an antonym.

That's sad. 

So maybe we can start something new: "Hope-ism" and we can be "Hope-ists". Maybe another phrase would be better. Thoughts? "

I was getting pretty excited. Except for the name, since I know it's not a word (yet), and people would by default write it as "hopist", and then I think of bunnies, and then I think of my yard, and then our pup who loves to chase bunnies…

In other words…I get distracted

…which is why I engaged the group to think of a different name. Besides, it still bothered me that while a small group of people hated with such passion that they had a house-hold name for what they did, but it didn't seem like there was a name for people who loved with such passion.

Then I continued…

"But imagine the headlines: 'More Hope-ist cells…formed back in the 90s in an Up With People group, emerged again and surprised a local community by acts of hope: this one just dug a well in an emerging economy...another taught young mothers how to budget for a micro-business...another partnered with a homeless shelter to feed and educate"

And then reality hit.

I was just an idea generator. It would take real work to get this running. Maybe I'm guilty of this a lot…great ideas but lacking the grit to act on them.

Yet it still bothered me: Why is there not a "house-hold" name for a group who loves with such passion? Is it easier to hate than love? Is it harder to get passionate about helping others than hating others? It sure seems like there are a lot of similarities in the commitment level: your time, your money, you must believe in your cause…with enough passion to push past the roadblocks, and possibly give your life dedicated to your cause, and finally a conviction that the world will only become what you want if you continually repeat acts on unsuspecting people you want to impact.

I know there are many, many groups working to do great things. But imagine if everyone was passionate about hope…enough to actively engage those without hope?

I finished my discussion by suggesting an "Agile" approach (my passion for design is never far away)…experiment, start small, fail fast, learn, and grow…

"Well, maybe we start small...even a friendly competition within our cast...share how we delivered hope in our individual communities. "I was a hope-ist today...drove a struggling youth to her job today...one small step to independence". And whoever is voted the most awesome hope-ist of this group gets a free meal at our next reunion"

So will I turn my idea into action?

I hope so.

Hmm…maybe hope-ist isn't such a bad name after all.


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