In a recent guest post, I talked about my involvement in social media, especially Twitter, and how it has impacted my behavior, as both a consumer and customer.
What I didn’t mention in that post are the ways social media has also influenced my awareness of various nonprofit organizations and their fund-raising activities. As tweets from these organizations move through my Twitter stream, the human condition, with all its implied challenges, including real suffering, also passes by my particular Twitter window into the universe.
Sometimes, even if you are a caring person, which I like to believe most of us are at the core, it’s a little hard not to detach from these many causes—so much need, so little of me to go around, especially these days. And yet, it’s precisely when times are most difficult, that these causes, and the people whom these causes represent, need our help the most.
In a weblog about business, culture and spirit, Tim Sanders (author of Saving The World at Work) offers a Theory on Selfishness, likening selfishness to “a personal recession, rooted in a lack of confidence.” Sanders explains how to find our more generous sides:
When I see someone behaving selfishly, I see a personal recession in full bloom. If you want to help someone learn generosity or patience, help them find some confidence. They can seek self confidence or confidence in an organization they belong to. When they find this confidence, they will also find the abundance mentality.
In more spiritual terms, lack of confidence sounds a lot to me, like a lack of hope, trust, or belief—all of these abstracts center on the same abundant principles.
I’m not exactly sure who or what it was this last week or so, that helped restore some of my natural confidence, but it definitely had something to do with Twitter. Maybe it was all the job-seeking tips and leads from a variety of companies and resources on Twitter (look at jobangels on search.twitter.com for starters). Maybe it was Chris Brogan shaving his head for charity. Maybe it was the example of Jason Mitchener’s attitude toward life. Whatever it was, I acted on a few charitable requests in my Twitter stream, making modest donations to some causes of choice.
I think in a lot of ways, people who ordinarily like to give more generously in better times, stop giving altogether during harder times, because they think, “What difference can my small contribution really make?” A kind of defeatist attitude sets in. Because we want to give more, we don’t give at all. It’s important to remember that even $10 can go a long way, if everyone contributes. And though we can’t give every time, to every cause, we can help each other raise awareness, as much as possible.
Social media had the power to increase my personal abundance mentality this week. As companies use social media to foster transparent relationships and trust with their customers, perhaps it will promote that abundance mentality, in business, too.