TweetsGiving 2009: Changing the World with the Power of Gratitiude

TweetsGiving invites you to bring your grateful heart to the party this November. Scheduled for November 24 – 26, 2009, TweetsGiving is a global celebration that seeks to change the world through the power of gratitude.

The 48 hour event was created by Epic Change and encourages us to express thanks using online tools and at live get-togethers across the world. Guest are invited to give to a common cause in honor of those people and things that make them grateful. This year Epic Change will be partnering with Lucy Kamptoni in Tanzania to implement a technology lab at a primary school.

Epic Change launched the original TweetsGiving in November 08, with just six days of planning and only two days before the US Thanksgiving holiday, successfully raising over $10,000 to build a classroom in Arusha, Tanzania. Now those students need a technology lab to equip them for participation in a global marketplace.

When 12for12k supporter and friend John Haydon asked me to get involved with TweetsGiving I had no idea what I was getting into. Now I’m on a grand, party planning adventure. I’m searching for a venue for a local TweetsGiving event, entertainment and sponsors. You can find an event to attend near where you live at the TweetsGiving site.

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More Thoughts on Changing the World: The Rule of the Third Person

Mark Horoszowski of A Volunteer’s Guide to Changing the World explains the Rule of the 3rd person, and why you need one.

A localized tipping point is achieved only when the 3rd person joins a movement or event. This also means that success cannot be achieved until a 3rd person joins a movement.

Mr. Horoszowski continues with examples to back his claim, including Seth Godin’s Guy #3. I’ve previously discussed how Guy #3 wouldn’t have made the choice he did without Guys #1 and #2 going before him — fairly obvious stuff.

Here’s my question about the Rule of the 3rd Person: Why the 3rd person? Why not the forth or the fifth? Horoszowski presents some good arguments for the 3rd, but something about the rule doesn’t resonate. I can’t put my finger on why.

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Revisiting My 9 Predictions for '09

About six months ago I shared my predictions for 2009. We have another six months to see what actually happens, but a couple have already come to pass and others are in the process of happening.

Below are my original predictions in bold, with my current thoughts following:

  1. Twitter will be flooded by corporations trying to monetize the platform. Most will have no clear objectives. Well, perhaps ‘flooded’ was the wrong word, but this one has happened.
  2. Britney Spears will release a Gospel album. Still waiting to see this one, but it won’t surprise me.
  3. Middle East unrest will result in the rise of global consensus to use drastic measures to bring quiet (there will be no peace) in Israel. Happening.
  4. MySpace will make an effort to regain ground lost to Facebook, but will fail. I never saw the effort, but I think we all see the fail.
  5. The UK and the United States governments will partner to launch a ratings system for the net. The ratings will be used to stifle free speech. Not sure where this one is at. Heard about it early in the year, but nothing lately.
  6. Facebook will make obvious efforts to compete with Twitter. Nailed it.
  7. President Obama’s emphasis on service to our fellow man will continue the changes already seen in our economy as it shifts its focus from material goods to intangible benefits. Not sure about this one. Perhaps I was too optimistic, but time will tell. BTW – This was never meant to be a political endorsement of our current President, just an observation about his effect on our changing economy.
  8. A radical change in publishing and journalism will push both industries towards a greater online presence. Many paper products will become e-products. The change doesn’t seem to be radical, but gradual. E-products are appearing more frequently, but they stand in addition to, not instead of, the paper products.
  9. Traffick to the Sky’s the Limit will increase six fold. Views during the week of the original post: 92. Views this week (estimated): 290. That’s a three-fold increase during the first six months of the year.

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Can One Person Change the World?

Can one person change the world? Well, yes and no. I’ve been giving a lot of thought to the question. Last month, I commented on Seth Godin’s Guy #3.

 Seth claims Guy #3 turns the dancing of one or two people into a movement. By this argument, it would seem it took more than one person to cause significant change. Yet, Guy #3 wouldn’t have made the choice he did without Guys #1 and #2 going before him. Whether we’re talking about Guy #1, #2 or#3, it’s clear that an individual can effect large-scale social change when they are willing to lead.

Perhaps one person can change the world, but they need others’ help. Consider Michael Jackson. According to a recent Reuters article, 1982’s Thriller remains the best-selling studio album in the United States. The Recording Industry Association of America has certified it 28-times platinum and an estimated 50 million copies have sold internationally.

Although Mr. Jackson’s name is synonymous with Thriller, the Moonwalk and King-of-Pop status, he didn’t achieve these things on his own. Paul the Apostle didn’t establish the Christian church without the other apostles (and Jesus, of course). Alexander the Great didn’t conquer the known world without his army. Guys #1, #2 and #3 didn’t start a movement without each other.

Every large-scale social change starts small. It begins when a single person makes a choice to act. It doesn’t start with a bang; it starts with a whisper.

Lead wheel weights are a small thing. These weights, made from an alloy of lead and antimony, clip to automotive wheel rims to help balance the tires. An estimated 70,000 tons per year of lead is used worldwide in the manufacture of wheel weights. Lead wheel weights are believed by some researchers to be a significant source of poisonous lead released into the environment.

Can one lead wheel weight change the world? What if it has a little help from it’s peers?

On her blog Essential Prose, Zoe Westhof has asked what it takes to change the world.

If we are indeed all interconnected in a deliciously complex web of cause and effect, action and reaction, does not every step we take change the world somehow? If we all pull our weight in our tiny corners of the universe, where is the line between changing the world and changing ourselves?

These are excellent questions. Here’s my take:

We all live at some point along a scale of human experience. At one end is all that is right, good and true about humanity; on the other is all that is debased and corrupt. Every decision we make takes us in one direction or the other.

Not only that, but our choices have the potential to also affect others along the scale. We can lead people in one direction or the other. We can change the world, even if only a little bit. Those small changes hold the potential to lead to large-scale social change.

What do you think? Can one person change the world?

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Study of Primates Indicates Grammar is Linked to Memory

According to NewScientist, a study employing 14 cotton-top tamarins and nonsense words broadcast over speakers indicates the primates may intuitively recognise some rules of grammar. The findings suggest some of the skills required for language may be linked to basic memory functions.

The addition of syllables, either at the beginning or at the end of a word, is found across many languages. Researcher Ansgar Endress and colleagues at Harvard think this structure might be linked to basic memory functions that are independent of language. If their findings prove true, it will provide insight into how children learn grammatical structures.

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Social Media is Changing Media, Politics

Clay Shirky, speaking at TED, shows how our use of social media tools is changing media and politics.

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Pink Cross Foundation Champions Women

I first discovered Shelley Lubben and the Pink Cross Foundation through social media site MySpace. Shelley uses the application to reach out to porn stars and those addicted to pornography. It’s just one of several tools employed by her faith-based 501(c)(3) charity.

The Pink Cross Foundation offers emotional, financial and transitional support to adult industry workers. The foundation also reaches out to those struggling with pornography offering education and resources for recovery.

Shelley was once a porn actress and prostitute. After years of abuse within the industry she was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depressive Disorder, Impulse Control Disorder and substance abuse. She was prescribed anti-depressants, Lithium and sleeping pills and recommended psychiatric counseling for many years.

She eventually reached a breakthrough. According to thepinkcross.org:

After finding God through Christianity and enduring eight hard years of recovery at the Champion’s Center, Shelley conquered the horrible effects of her past and became a Champion in life through the power of Jesus Christ. Ten years later Shelley began her mission to go back to the porn industry to reach out to porn stars and sex workers offering them solid help and hope. Shelley is also on a mission to smash the illusion of porn and help people overcome pornography addiction.

Shelley and her husband Garrett founded the Pink Cross Foundation. In addition to their work with porn stars and porn addicts, they combat community deterioration due to pornography and prostitution, educate the general public and attempt to influence legislation surrounding the porn industry.

Shelley Lubben and the Pink Cross Foundation can be found on MySpace, FaceBook and YouTube. The website offers a blog, forums and chat. Porn is not glamorous. Get the facts. Get help.

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