- Intro website: leavingeverythingbetter.net (or leavingeveryonebetter.net)
- (tighten it up – it’s a little too long)
- set up with the way it used to be with America being
- the solution is one act and one person at time
- here’s how to do your part – refer to Front Porch
- reach out and change someone’s day … or maybe more
- or better yet help someone out yourself – and who knows may be someone will give you card.
- Sign up page: eavingeverythingbetter.net/signup: This will be the standard sign up page
- flow into 3.0 Members database
- possibly a place to register and comment (how citizens can make things better)
- possibly a prelude to something in the future (don’t know what that is)
- possibly a set up to Community 3.0 and the grassroots wave
- possibly play off of Leadership 2020 front page
The French political philosopher, Alex de Tocqueville, theorized that the concept of the American township and its extension, the neighborhood, was the reason for the envied American “exceptionalism” of the 1800s and early 1900s. In Europe people resided around common characteristics and demarcations such as language or ethnicity. America in the 1800’s was not so much the case. People of different “ways, shapes and kinds” lived together in close geographic proximity, creating American townships and neighborhoods. While not all agreed with each other politically or socially, they were still neighbors. And when they were needed, they were there; the first line of defense against whatever common enemy they all faced.
It’s the loss of these bonded neighborhoods that is creating a social divide in America today. In the past, before World War II, our neighbors were our support. They were the doctors, the midwives and the handy- men. They were where we could go to get food when we needed it. It’s what got America through the Great Depression … and it’s what we need to get us through the dysfunction that has infected our country today.
What can we do to fix this.
The Solution: Acknowledging the good deed
At the base of any change and healing process are micro-level interactions. It’s easy to forget this, especially with our so-called leaders and their overarching platitudes espoused as being the cure-all for all that ails us. With a single wave of a magic wand all will be fixed as far as we can see. It’s easier to buy into this. The other way takes work and painstaking patience. To affect change one interaction at a time with one person at a time seems daunting to the point of pragmatic petrification.
We can’t let this happen though. Medusa was a myth. We don’t turn to stone when we look at someone who walks by us. Even though our hearts may feel like they’re void of positive emotion and benevolence for those we don’t know … they’re not. It just takes “doing” rather than “not doing.” It takes recognizing that the other person and is probably little different from you – no matter how they may appear. They’re going through life hoping not to be anonymous, to be recognized – yet still too often retreating into their own comfort zone as a default.
The recent Pokemon G0 phenomenon is bringing people in contact with each in their neighborhoods. Generations content being fixed to their screens have found out their fixation can be a lot more fun if it’s integrated with the physical world and players around them. Contributing to this connection is a phenomenon called physical synchrony. Walking toward the same locations, then trying to capture creatures in the same ways, means players move in similar ways at the same time. Research has demonstrated that synchronous movement can enhance trust between people. For a change people aren’t scared of each other. They’re not looking for the worst in each other.
But what if settling for just “not looking for the worst” – we looked for the best. What if we engaged with our community and our neighborhoods focusing our attention on what people were doing that was out of the ordinary and just good for their fellow human beings.
Community Cards are a way to acknowledge when someone has done something out of ordinary, in a good way, leaving someone, some place or something better off from them being there. This something could be anything that stands out. It’s something you’ll remember. It’s something that may spur you to reach out and do something out of the ordinary yourself. You may notice it walking down the street or by the waitress at your local coffee shop. The examples are endless. But you’ll know when you see it. And you’ll know that this person should be recognized for it. Normally it would just be a compliment, but with a Community Card it would be a trophy of sorts, a formal acknowledgement to them that the way they conduct themselves is not only virtuous, it’s acknowledged as that by others … others they don’t even know.
But the benefit of Community Cards doesn’t stop there. They are not designed to be kept like a trophy on a mantle. A Community Card should be alive, restlessly looking for a new home touching as many people as possible. And I believe that the cards will create a self-fulfilling prophesy. Once someone does something “good” and is recognized for it – they’ll do it again. And maybe even those around them will do the same … until the act of “doing good” becomes the societal norm and what’s expected of everyone. Call me utopian, but I’m typing on something on my lap hundreds of times more powerful than what was housed only in a university costing millions of dollars when I was in college.
The power of a compliment can change someones life … giving them that acknowledgement that who they choose to be and how they choose to act is the correct decision. It’s life affirming. Community Cards give you the power to affirm – and as a result change someone’s life. Why wouldn’t you want to do that.