Skip to main content

"Change the world" - a great option to have yourself, and also one to give others

Perspective is important and sometimes we forget how lucky we are.

Today a combination of chance and too many emails meant I saw 7 online profiles where some variation of 'change the world' was how people described their goals.

Its an admirable aim - I confess to using it myself once in a while.

In fact, I've been part of dozens and dozens of conversations where friends and colleagues wondered if they were actually changing the world, or when they would, or at the very least how they would make a dent in the universe.

How would we all leave our mark or at least find our bliss - after all if we weren't, were we failing at life or doing it all wrong? How else would we be happy? Wasn't the point of it all to do something incredible, and find fame and fortune?

Then today morning on the radio on the drive to work, I heard about the story of a 60-year old retiree who had lost her house. She was doing an unpaid internship, working 50 hours a week, to learn a new trade so that she could get employed. There was no guarantee that she would be, but this was her best shot at making ends meet. Changing the world was not an option. The only alternative was trying to get by with dignity.

I also realized that she was probably better off than most people on this planet - where even dignity was a dream.

The very fact that we have the opportunity to aspire to 'change the world' is either a testament to hard work (ours or someone else's) or a blessing. Its something we shouldn't take for granted, and irrespective of wether we choose to aspire to 'change the world', we should at the very least attempt to give others the chance to dream of it as well.

Help someone less fortunate than you - changing the world for the better is hard, but you can almost always help make someone else's world a little better.


Popular posts from this blog

Measure f-ing everything, and assume f-ing nothing!! - Or how mentoring ruined lives :-(

I've been really enjoying the Freakonomics podcast of late. This episode and the lesson we should take a away from it, was a stark reminder of one of the most important things we should be doing - but often don't - in building products or making any decisions: measuring the impact of absolutely everything we do, including the things that seem obviously good.

I recommend listening to the podcast if you have the time, but here's the summary. Stephen Dubner describes the Cambridge Sommerville Youth Study. The impact of social intervention programs in general is hard to measure and so they seldom are. This was the first attempt at measuring the impact over a long period of time.

It's a great story and there are a few good take-aways, but here's the main one: troubled or at-risk youth that received mentoring (good mentoring!) had worse life outcomes across every dimension than the kids that were left alone. Despite the recipients saying that the mentoring was incredibl…

Yup - humans still lack humanity

Every once in a while, I'm reminded that humans can be completely lacking in humanity.

My wife had the following experience yesterday on her ride back home. She got on the train and found a seat. The train was unusually crowded and it looked a lot of people had to stand for a long ride. An elderly Asian gentleman carrying a few things in both hands, was looking for spot, started to complain smilingly about the train being so full and stood in the aisle at the back of the carriage some seats away from her.

She expected someone closer to gentleman in the aisle (lots of younger people on the train) to give him their seat.

No one did.

The train started, and it was clear the man was having a lot of trouble standing up. Then at the next stop there was actually an announcement saying the train was full so please give up your seats to people who needed them.

Still nobody moved.

My wife got up walked to the end of the train and asked the gentleman to go over to her seat. She still couldn&#…

Whimsy when I changed my profile picture...

I changed by profile picture at work.

Later in the day, two people on my team had changed their profile pictures to these.. :-)

It made my day!

I changed my profile pic again today. Let's see how fast anyone catches on this time. :-)