“Happy valentine’s day, lil lady!”
“Happy Valentine’s Day to you too. And Generosity Day!” “Whaaaa? Haha.”
“It’s Generosity Day!” “Saint Generosity? Never heard of him.”
Real text conversation at 8:00am this morning.
I’m not super savvy on my saints, but I’m going to say that there is no St. Generosity. But that doesn’t mean today can’t be rebranded as Generosity day.
Evidently, at last year’s Social Media Week (held around Valentine’s Day), Katya Andresen of Network for Good, Sasha Dichter of Acumen Fund, and Ellen McGirt of Fast Company all sat on a panel for a session called “Nonprofits Using Social Media To Close Doors For Good.” The panel was introduced by Scott Case of Malaria No More, who led the session in brainstorming ideas and solutions for social entrepreneurs and non-profiters in the audience.
Afterwards, Sasha was discussing his “Generosity Experiment” with Katya, in which he said YES to everyone who asked him for help for an entire month. The discussion inspired him to take back Valentine’s Day and celebrate a different kind of love. He launched Generosity Day 2011, utilizing social media platforms, reaching out to his network, and partnering with Network for Good. The inspired Sasha then inspired others to rebrand their Valentine’s Day to Generosity Day by “doing good.”
And this year, Generosity Day is back. Individuals and organizations worldwide are spreading the word and showing some love, not just to significant others and special loved ones in their lives, but to their neighbors, their communities, and even strangers on the street.
Below is another video, made by the interns at Pencils of Promise: “#GenerosityDay Fail.” The part about holding the door open has happened to me more than once.
And one more video made by Jason & the crew from Jubilee Project: “What is Love?”
Life has been a bit crazy and stressful for me lately (hence, a lack of updates…even more so than typical). Between work, and side projects, and family, and relationships, and interviews, and ideas, and meetings, and financial issues, and being nomadic, and life decisions, I just have been non-stop moving, sometimes robotically, which is completely not my style.
I’ve been feeling especially disjointed these past few days. Waking up this morning was difficult because I was just drained — mostly emotionally and spiritually but a bit physically too.
Eventually, I got up from the slab of ice I slept on last night (no heat), went to my computer, and got on my grind. After a while of working, I checked my TweetDeck and saw more than one tweet about the Holstee manifesto (see below). Evidently, they launched a new a LifeCycle film of the manifesto.
It totally made my morning better and reminded me of who I am and what I believe (sorry if that sounds cheesy or dramatic or cliche — but there’s no other way to say it). You can read their manifesto below or just watch the video.
Many of my friends have heard me say something to the extent of, “Isn’t it crazy how…[insert something relatively normal in our modern society]?” I always find technology, and how far along it’s come, to be absolutely fascinating and something my mind sometimes needs a moment to really think about. When I tell people about my wonder, they tend to think I’m weird. Understandable, since we live in a hyper-connected, super tech-savvy society where 10-year-olds spend recess downloading apps to their phones and the concept of putting pen to paper to communicate with someone seems like an ancient one. It’s amazing though, right?
Brian sent me this clip this morning with the added message, “This should be the official video of #firstworldpains.” Louis CK on Conan O’Brien about how amazing our world is today and how nobody appreciates it.
I saw that Daniela had tweeted this video just a moment ago. Reading the title, I was on the fence about clicking the link but eventually decided to just watch, even if it might end up not being worthwhile. Turned out to be a TED Talk (and y’all know how much I love those) and a good one at that.
Watch it and consider what kind of bubbles we’re being shuffled into.
Hey, folks interested in social entrepreneurship/business. Or collaborative ventures. Or social good in general.
In just a few days on June 9th, MakeSense is going to launch its web application v.2.0 in San Francisco! Sadly, I will not be in California this week for the launch party as I’m across the Pacific, but if you’re in the San Francisco area or have friends in the area, you should definitely join the awesome social event. I assure you that you will meet some amazing individuals, including the founder and original backpacker of MakeSense, Christian Vanizette.
And if you’re wondering what MakeSense is and what all this hullabaloo is about…well, Larry can explain quickly. I had the great chance of meeting up with him, another MakeSense member currently based in Beijing, while I was visiting Peking University. Check him out below:
Essentially, MakeSense is a community-based platform that seeks to connect social entrepreneurs/businesses with individuals who want to take on their challenges and help find solutions. Challenges can be tackled online through this web application, or offline through innovative workshops we call Hold-Ups.
The website allows for people to browse for social entrepreneurs, connect with them, learn more about their venture and challenges, and eventually solve the challenges.
MakeSense is a worldwide network of some 100+ young social business activists (from 25+ different countries), building a movement for any ordinary citizen to contribute to a more just world. The main objective is to boost our collective social impact by supporting social entrepreneurs and businesses — people in the field making a difference everyday in the life of people in need.
I arrived in Beijing yesterday afternoon and sadly discovered that the home I’m staying at is completely Internetless (as if having blocked Internet in China wasn’t rough enough for my hyperconnected, uber-wired, social media addicted self). As a result, I’m sitting in a McDonald’s across the street attempting to make the most of my free 30 minutes of wifi (New Yorkers, don’t take for granted the fact that we have free wifi everywhere in our city!).
Thankfully, I’m email-less for just a few days. When I return to Nanning, I’ll have some real updates — including the days in Nanning prior to coming to Beijing…and hopefully an update with some MakeSense team members!
My boyfriend jokes that I always “do what I want.” Apparently though, for the first time ever, I’m in a country where I can’t do whatever I want. Not only is my addiction to Twitter getting a cleansing (not going to lie, I’m suffering some minor withdrawal symptoms) but my bigger addiction to Gmail is taking an unexpected and unwelcomed blow as well.
In the two nights I’ve been in China, I’ve gotten exactly 4 minutes of Gmail time. But at least I was somewhat prepared for that (though I didn’t realize it would be this inaccessible); my dad on the other hand is irate. Poor guy.
I won’t rant too much about this and my thoughts on Internet censorship and this government. Who knows who will come knocking on my door, putting me away. But hey, maybe I’ll get a Nobel Peace Prize out of it (I’d link that sentence but I’m pretty sure all articles about the 2010 winner are blocked here).
In other news: I almost got into a brawl less than 5 minutes into being in China. I have low tolerance for nonsense. And rudeness. And nonsensical rudeness.
No one says anything when they knock you over in the street. At least in New York, you’ll get an “excuse me” or “sorry” or “move it” or even “f*** you” — but here? Nothing. As Bon Qui Qui would say: “Rude.”
People love to ride their mopeds on pedestrian walks. I don’t know why. Inefficient.
Nose-picking is in. The more public and unashamed, the more in it seems to be.
Peeing in public is also in, among some crowds…
Chinese people are loud. But I didn’t have to come all the way to China to tell you that one.
Food is crazy cheap, as all my China-visiting friends have told me. Clothing and entertainment are not cheap.
The people who are nice are VERY nice. Thumbs up for that.
List to be continued, perhaps.
Hopefully I’ll be updating soon about what I’ve done in China so far. Despite the Internet inaccessibility and the nose-pickers, the direct experience with people has been amazing thus far. I had the chance to meet with families of children with cerebral palsy, and talk with organization heads/founders. Photos, stories, and lessons to come.
First meal in China…cheapest thing at Shenzhen airport though.