Last week we created the idea of a “Community Impact Score”, a way for us to quickly gauge how well we are taking advantage of the numerous opportunities we have to create a positive impact in our communities. I mentioned that our goal should be to try to increase our score, making the most of every opportunity we can. That sounds great, but we first have to determine what is holding us back.
One of the key barriers to increasing our Community Impact Score is a lack of awareness to the needs around us. We are so busy that we often find ourselves operating with tunnel vision. We go from point A to point B without taking in the scenery along the way. I think this is where most our lost opportunity goes. On the way from our desk to the printer we don’t see our coworker’s distress over the perfect storm of problems that all at once ran right smack into her previously manageable day. In our effort to purchase the one item we forgot we needed for dinner, we unfortunately don’t see the elderly person straining to reach a top shelf item or the donation container for the local food shelf. Because we don’t see it, we don’t do anything about it.
The above scenarios could easily be a typical day for me in which I go through life with my blinders on and miss out. What if I went through life with these blinders on every day for a year? For my whole life? Think of the sheer number of missed opportunities! Now stop. Take off the blinders. What if you went through the next day, week, or year with your eyes fully open? What could that impact be?
Each and every day we are surrounded with opportunity to serve, to have significance in the lives of our neighbors, but we don’t. It is not because we don’t care, but because we are not aware. I challenge all of you to start looking, listening, and seeing. Acknowledge that there are more day to day opportunities to be a positive force than we likely thought. While some of the opportunities may seem small, they are not insignificant; over time the cumulative impact will absolutely be felt. Need some more inspiration? Watch this video.