world is filled with problems. We keep trying to end those problems, but
despite our tremendous efforts, those problems just keep hanging around. If
your organization is in any way about solving problems, you may have had that
same thought occur to you. Will we ever see an end to these
Many around the world have had similar thoughts.
What had been the War on Poverty has become the Blueprint to End Poverty. In
another 20 years, if we don’t change our patterns, it will be renamed as
In all those years, with all those efforts, we are
still hoping to end the world’s pain. And it still doesn’t look
like it is any closer to happening.
So what is a caring citizen of the world to
Ending Something Bad vs. Beginning Something
Instead of aiming all our attention and energy at
what we DON’T want, what would happen if instead we aimed at building
something incredible - something amazing?
What would happen if we stopped aiming our work at
ending something bad, and started aiming that work at building something good?
What if we aimed at building an incredible place to live - an amazing
community, an amazing world?
We certainly cannot create an amazing place to live
without addressing in some way the problems we have today. But while
problem-solving tempts the question, “Then what?” (So you address
hunger - then what?), building an amazing place IS the “then
A community that is compassionate, wise, healthy,
vibrant - a community that nurtures artistic expression, that brings out the
best in us rather than simply trying to suppress the worst in
A world full of people who react from our human
potential for wisdom and compassion, before reacting from our animal instincts
What if the reason we have not ended all those
problems is not the number of hours in a day or the number of dollars we have
failed to get funded? What if the real issue is that we are aiming at something
negative, aiming all our efforts and energies directly at what we do not want?
What if all we need to do is re-aim - this time
aiming at beginning something incredible?
Start with your own organization’s
Are your plans reacting to your community’s
increasing demands and needs, trying to end something bad? Or are they aiming
at a great beginning - building an amazing place to live? If you plan for
building an amazing community, wouldn’t you address your
community’s needs on the way to building
Are you creating a prevention program, aimed at
preventing something bad - ending it once and for all - perhaps preventing /
ending diabetes, heart disease, obesity? Or perhaps preventing / ending teen
pregnancy, high school drop rates, gang violence? Or are you instead aiming at
a great beginning - building a healthy community in all ways, a vibrant,
resilient, nurturing place to live, where diabetes and heart disease and teen
pregnancy and gang violence are addressed as one of many “to do”
items on the road to building that healthy place to
Now look inside your organization.
Are you reacting
to internal problems, perhaps considering a Capacity Building initiative? Are
you hoping you can get enough funding to address the area that happens to be on
fire this year? Or are you aiming those plans at a great beginning - planning
for overall health and strength for all your organization’s efforts? If
you plan to make all your efforts healthy and strong in every way,
wouldn’t you address those problems on the way to building
And what about your board?
Are you aiming
your board development efforts at problem-solving, to finally put a stop to
those nagging issues of recruitment and fundraising, succession planning and
financial planning? Or are you aiming your board at a great beginning - tapping
its immense potential to move forward not only the organization, but your
mission and your vision for a better community / a better world? If you are
encouraging and inspiring your board to its very highest potential,
wouldn’t the board address its problems along the way to building
It all comes down to this
we aiming at an ending or a beginning?
we aiming all our energies and resources
at ending something
creating something incredible?
If you want to address your community’s
problems, once and for all, perhaps it is time to consider what could happen if
you stop trying to solve those problems - stop aiming all your energies at an
Perhaps it is time to consider what might happen if
instead you start aiming at a beginning - the beginning of building an amazing,
vibrant, energized, nurturing, caring and compassionate place to
We are creating the future, every minute of every
day, whether we do so consciously or not. What amazing tomorrow will you begin