The Louisiana Church arson attacks, the fire at Notre Dame, the attack in Sri Lanka and the death of rapper Nipsey Hussle have all shaken many in those respective communities and around the world. However, it has also rallied support both locally and internationally and pushing forward our need to unify and empathize to make our communities better. When chaos strikes the affected community rallies together to provide support. Unfortunately, when the issue seems resolved the comradery dwindles and everyone is back to their regularly scheduled programming. It’s not that people do not care anymore, but the issue no longer affects them, and empathy is lost. We shouldn’t need chaos to remind us to stick together, but with that alarming reminder we can grow from chaos in many ways.
I do not listen to a lot of rap music, so I had no idea who Nipsey Hussle was until he died. What impressed me, was that he became the voice and activator for his community that sent a message to grow and prosper together. When Notre Dame caught fire, the world stopped and watched as centuries of sanctity and intricate construction were destroyed. Donations poured in to save this treasured relic and it left some Americans saying what about Louisiana? Soon after many donations were made to the affected churches to rebuild. When disaster struck on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka the world stopped once more and world leaders condemned the acts of terror and offered support to the people.
What all these disasters have in common is that none of the external communities have a direct link to it. Because each person/entity represented a place of peace and progress in many capacities it has unified us as a global community to become empathetic again and grow from that place instead of forgetting about it because it does not affect us. The same lesson about learning from our mistakes applies to our response to chaos, grow from them and create an opportunity to be better. Whether that is stopping unnecessary violence, giving support to causes, or providing aid to entities that are focused on making a community better. From that initial aid and empathy, we can gain a clear understanding of how these communities can grow. Nipsey Hussle and these churches used their voices and resources to provide a path to prosperity and peace and we have the capacity to do that together. When things need to change, something chaotic happens to provoke that change. However, on the other side of chaos is a process to create an opportunity to be better as people and better as a community.
You do not have to own a company or nonprofit to make a difference, all it takes is asking the question of what can I do for this cause, movement, organization…my community? How can we as individuals fill a void, whether big or small, that will make a difference and possibly a ripple effect? The outside perspective on corporate community service is that a CEO gets their hands dirty occasionally, to show the local or global community that they care. This is not untrue. However, serving the community goes deeper than taking an opportunistic photo with a thumbs up and a plastered smile that says tax write-off. It’s imperative to remain a part of the community, no matter the heights you reach. And more importantly not allowing the prospect of recognition to be the driving force to solve a problem. Make it a point to volunteer, give, work but do something.
Monte Scott, a 12 year old from Muskegon Heights, MI, was fed up with the pot hole ridden street that he lived on and took it upon himself to fill 15+ potholes. He knew the issue was affecting everyone and decided that waiting for someone to “save the street” he needed to use what he had to make a difference. The Grand Haven Tribune reported that he picked up his shovel, got some dirt from his back yard, and evened out the road. He did not have any concrete or money to correct the road. However with enough gumption and worry after his watching his mother mess up her car on the road he knew the problem was bigger than just him.
How many of us take the time to take what we have, regardless of the amount, and fix something in the community? The city or state may not always allocate funds to your cause. The fundraiser may not always raise enough funds. The interest or care to fix something may not garner a news story. It may not be a great public image for yourself or your company. But does it make it any less significant to fill the hole in your community with your gifts, a favor, an act of kindness, or your influence to make your community better? We have the unlimited ability to take care of ourselves and each other with simple actions that create an even road to prosperity for our respective corners of the world.