That seems to be the theme question of the week, "Arry, why.... why are you doing all this?" Why... why... it's ingrained in my blood. I want to change the world - make it a better place for everyone. I want hearts to feel, intentions to be good, good people to meet other good people, ... Isn't it everyone's reason for doing what they do? I'm literally sitting here after a three hour brainstorming and planning session for my next big event that's coming up this summer... I am so so so excited to put this event together. A lot of my close friends are worried - because I'm putting a big chunk of skin in the game for this... But really, why? I don't know... or maybe I do. It seems like a fun thing to do... Well, why comes down to these three core values:
1. Selfless Service:
At an early age, my mother had me playing the piano and violin for the elderly and church every weekend. Sometimes I wanted to sleep, go out and play instead... She said if you've got a gift, it's your duty to share it with others. And really, being able to touch the hearts of the forgotten elderly left in nursing homes ... that was a gift all in its own. I get a high when I meet hearts-of-gold. I'm touched to the core when I see selfless acts of love like a father spending time with his child and when a person gives "just because".
2. Connecting Hearts:
Here's a memory I can share with you. In college, I became really excited about the cause around multicultural-diversity and acceptance. There was one evening where I was being a bookworm at our local Barnes and Noble when I was home in upstate NY for the Christmas holidays - and I heard this really cool folksy-hip chick (who was from Seattle!!!) playing the guitar singing in the cafe. I thought... wow: MUSIC... music is a common language that everyone understands. ... I found a way to raise money through the Cornell Student Affairs office and Office of Minority Affairs to bring the Seattle folk chick to Ithaca- and put on a concert for all the students. The concert provided a forum for people from all walks of life, of different colors and cultures, to sit together, listen to music and share the experience. The event didn't make any money. Anyways... Music is one of my first loves... it's the language of the heart. I saw it work then in connecting hearts... and I hope to see it work again this June...
3. Servant Leadership:
At the end of it all, it's about servant leadership - where giving is from the heart, and not about the ego. Leading in a way that makes human sense for the greater good. For those that are also engaged with community and nonprofits, you know that to really give back, you have to walk into that community/nonprofit with an open heart and mind; the ego is nowhere to be seen, the badges/diplomas/age/gender/... all those ego-related "things" have to be left behind when you enter the world of Giving. I heard a slightly funny story about an extremely intelligent, smart, wildly successful man who walked into a community organization with the intention of volunteering and giving back. The intent was good - points there. He was assigned the lowly position of filing papers for his first "project" - and he was shocked. He couldn't do it. In the world of giving, you have to think with human-sense - you have to get to know the organization, the people and earn the right/trust of the people. Ego has no place in giving.
Reminds me of what my mom said a bunch of times to me growing up that you may have heard me say - and it really rang a bell in my heart. Arry... no matter how rich you may be, how smart you are, how successful... it'll never bring you love/peace if you have neighbors that are suffering. (Of course, she said this in Korean... but you get the gist). ...
And hey... isn't this what love is about? Love is selfless, accepting, and giving.