The greatest advances I’ve ever heard of were more than an epiphany. Yes, any amazing things have come in to our lives because of one great moment of inspiration – but, if you think about major shifts in the way we live, think or operate as human beings, they usually came to be through a process of dedication and vision.
Let’s think about some of the big changes I’m referring to…
Things that changed our lives
It didn’t start with Facebook, blogging, instantly streaming news and everything else that we have come to rely on. Nope, it started with people having good ideas and building on them. One failed experiment after the next, the Internet slowly (that’s relative) grew to what it is today. Can you imagine not having it now?
Life without electricity. Beyond going on a brief camping trip, I’m afraid to say that a life without power would be terribly difficult for me to conceive of. The ability to build, grow, communicate and everything else that electricity gives us would be gone… totally different world! Our now massive power grids were not the result of the original discovery – they are the result of a long-term vision and the world change it could create.
Have you looked at a Model-T? Yes, introducing a car into society was a big deal! It has changed the way we go to work and the distances we can travel. Coupled with the use of electricity, we are in store for a whole new era of transportation in the very near future. It’s really very exciting! Cars, like the above examples, did not start out as a massively adopted invention. Slowly, over time and as the vision was shared, we bought in to how a vehicle could change our lives. Blood, sweat and tears went in to making the automobile in your driveway a possibility.
Red Shoe Project
So, I have a vision for the future too. I want to see businesses around the country and globe get more involved with non-profit work. It’s really great when a company writes a non-profit a check, but my vision has something more to it. I’d like to see businesses move past writing checks in exchange for a logo to prove their commitment to good deeds.
Yes, there are some great companies out there that do amazing work for the community. They commit to more than just writing checks… and to those companies, I salute your dedication. I’m referring to the organizations (small/medium/large) who pretend to be involved… those companies who can’t quite see why helping others helps them. I could dedicate an entire post to this specific topic, but I’ll leave the “Givers Gain” conversation for another time.
Red Shoe Project is about proving a point… To prove that businesses can get involved – skin in the game – without having to write a big fat check in exchange for a logo. That through the use of social media and fun exercises in engagement, a company can spur great awareness for a worthy cause of their choosing. The Red Shoe Project has chosen a non-profit to support for the 2009-2010 year… it’s called My New Red Shoes. They do wonderful work for children in San Francisco… check out their website! Red Shoe Project requests participation simply by asking participants to take a picture of themselves in red shoes.
It’s really pretty simple… assuming you have red shoes of course. If not, it’s a great excuse to go get some. Tell your friends, have a photo shoot afternoon – anything you want!
So, what’s the point?
The point is this… Whether your unemployed, you work for yourself or for a multi-national massive company, you can do something for the better good. It doesn’t matter what political beliefs you have, religious affiliations, personality conflicts – it’s all about breaking down those walls between people and participating in something simple that spurs positive change.
Can you imagine the global impact social media would have on increasing non-profit awareness if more projects like this started popping up?
The Future of Red Shoe Project
Time will ultimately tell where this all goes. I knew when I started wearing red shoes every day that this idea would require much more than my feet to plant itself in reality. The great news is that our Facebook page has grown to 190 members after just one week and pictures are starting to come in. People are planning their participation, being creative and having fun in the process. Red shoe social hours are on the horizon in cities from Chicago to Seattle.
So, how do you participate in making a positive change for society? Do you own a pair of red shoes?