We might be right about our assumptions with limited data. However, if the data set expands we may discover a different answer. How might we conclude when we have sufficient information to make our best decisions? What would an outsider conclude using the same data? Our goal is not to be certain but rather to remain curious. A better understanding of our world means we can better do the work that matters.
The force of our work may not be easily evident. As a former urban-rural interface firefighter, we trained to stop, drop, and align ourselves in a specific orientation if caught in an aerial water or retardant drop. The simulated training is as close as we got to reality since the danger of impact is evident in the video.
It is challenging to describe the consequences of our work, and often, an image or a viewing in real-time leaves a far greater impression. What service do you perform that is hard to describe but can fundamentally shift your mindset when witnessed in-person?
The new math for the social sector is complicated. There is more distance to cover and less fuel for the journey. Said differently, increased demand for services, and less funding/donations to deliver. In nutrition circles, fasting is popular right now. As nonprofits, we may have to adapt. It is time to deliver as much impact as possible and use limited time and bandwidth to try and replenish. We are in an ultra-endurance event, and we may start hallucinating due to lack of sleep and self-care. It is not sustainable, but we can test our limits and see where the trail leads. Even if we need to walk, limp, or take a trail-side nap, the fact that we are still in the race is more inspiration than we may fully understand.
Today there was an interesting article in Fox Business, highlighting the disruptions faced by the nonprofit sector.
How do you leave your mark? Is it visible? Would everyone know it, if they saw it? So much of our influence is not visible.
An Episcopal priest once suggested that half his congregation showed up on Sunday mornings out of a sense obligation/inspiration. There was an older couple who passed the offering plate every Sunday, walking slowly but deliberately down the aisle of the church. He dressed as if a six-shooter on his hip would not be out of place, and she wore western dress worthy of a good square dance. The congregation knew they would be in attendance, and if the older couple could make it church the rest of us should probably find the motivation. It was an invisible mark but one that created a web of connections.
Our impact is embedded in the questions we ask, the small nod as we make eye-contact across the room, the quick wave as we pass an outdoor enthusiast on the trail, or the applause we give to a job well done. None of these acts can be carried beyond the moment, but they leave a mark. Invisible and remarkable.
Full moons are not unexpected. However, they can be noteworthy. When two occur in the same month, the second one becomes a Blue Moon. The second full moon is the same as the first, but the sequence makes it unique.
Sometimes it is not what you do but when you do it. People donate goods and services every day. Often the impact is not evident because the effect is not visible. One can offer simple acts of kindness to their neighbor, taking out the trash, picking up a newspaper, holding a package until they return from a trip. However, if a neighbor suffers a catastrophe, the outreach from the neighborhood is palpable. Time of great need equates to more impact. Being prepared to act stands out. Sequence matters.