Saturday, February 7, 2009

What Are You Doing?

That question is asked in all sorts of contexts. It can go from innuendo to a telephone time-filler to a stern reprimand with just a shift in tone of voice. Twitter.com has even built a communications revolution around that question, but your answer to that question moment to moment becomes your life.

So what should you do? Buckminster Fuller, in a letter to a ten year old boy, explained that "The things to do are: the things that need doing, that you see need to be done, and that no one else seems to see need to be done." Figure out the most pressing problem that will fall through the cracks if you don't do something about it. That's where you should focus your time and energy.

Start where you are. If you can't breathe, putting food on the table is the least of your concerns. Without food, problems with relationships or leading a fulfilling life fade into the background. Don't get distracted by money. It's a tool. Money only buys happiness until you get up to the poverty line. After that happiness is more about interpersonal relationships and fulfilling activity.

Eventually you'll find something you can't accomplish alone. That's okay. The biggest problems we face can disappear if everybody pulls together. Community based initiatives can have faster and more powerful effects than waiting for the wheels of government to turn. Not only is the community better for the project, but more importantly it builds and exercises the network of citizens who are willing to take charge and make their world a better place. The relationships and fulfilling activity that can improve your life are a bonus.

Pay attention. You are likely to see things that no one else does. If you see how things can be better don't wait for permission, make it happen.

What am I doing? You can follow me on Twitter at aaron_holmes.
What are you doing?

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