To help or not to help?

1 12 2009

As I flesh out my ChangePals vision, I was struck by this article  that claims we’re born with a shared intentionality.  Science is beginning to prove that we all have an innate notion of what others expect to happen, beyond our conflicting sense of selfishness.  This sense of a group ‘we’ separates us from the other great apes and grounds our sociality.

Which gives me great hope for this journey I’m about to embark on with ChangePals.  It can’t be denied that we’re all selfish by nature and, indeed, I want ChangePals to appeal to your inner self(ishness).  For how can we truly change if we don’t, at some level, put ourselves and desires first?  We need to silence the inner and outter chatter of well-intentioned friends and family.  Of cultural dictates and conventional constructs.  Change begins with a strong sense of self and knowing what part you should or want to play in this giant jigsaw puzzle of a world.

But there is another side to the equation.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone cheer you on as you make positive change?  People who know exactly what you’re going through because they’ve been there before?  Many celebrities, for example, start foundations for leukemia, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, cancer, autism etc after losing a loved one to that affliction.  They speak from a deeper place of knowing, an inner core that resonates with yours.  And they persist and succeed in their cause because of it.  Their exchange is both selfish and altruistic: by helping others battle the disease, they continue to assuage the pain of their past loss.

And so I want ChangePals to be that platform.  A community that eventually helps itself by making its individuals more open to, accepting of and successful with change.

Life is filled with seeming contradictions, after all.  Business swings between competition and collaboration.  Relationships lurch between love and hate.  Team members bicker and support.

Yin and yang.  Selfishness and altruism.

Help and be helped.

Be a ChangePal.