A couple of years ago, my perception of what's possible changed forever. It started when I strayed away from my steady diet of fiction and read Mountains Beyond Mountains, by Tracy Kidder. It's about Paul Farmer, a doctor who did something impossible: He started small, and ended up changing the way infectious diseases are treated in impoverished communities worldwide. Next, I read Jeffrey Sach's The End of Poverty.
Then last year, after undergoing cancer treatment, I asked myself what I would do if it turned out I only had five or 10 years left. I wanted it to be something that seemed impossible, something big ...
I'm a coach, I like to help people, and I love how stories transform us -- how they shift our attention and our intention, and make us see that impossible things are possible. And, of course, I have this longing for a world without suffering. What could I do with all of that?
I decided I would create a global media network devoted to shifting attention and intention--putting the spotlight on all the people, communities, and organizations who are healing the world. Create a new media voice on the possibilities for ending suffering? That sounded big and impossible enough. I may have still been under the influence of the treatment drugs.
As it turns out, it might not be impossible for a 50-plus-year-old with no previous experience to start a media empire on her own, but it would certainly be time-consuming and expensive. Then people started to offer support: My amazing writer-friend, Liz, said she would help. And my artist-visionary friend Audrey said she’d like to help. And then Dave the technology genius volunteered.
As we began to create what is now HumanKind Media (a blog that will launch a media empire? who knows?), we were delighted to discover that what we want is, in some ways, already happening. Thousands of people are out there doing amazing things, already in touch with their own longing and tapping into their own unique creativity. And citizen journalists everywhere are telling their stories, creating a new sense of possibility in the people who hear them.
Our theory at HumanKind is that a steady diet of stories about people making a difference can create change everywhere. Media like that can make me and others believe we can heal the world. Media that pays attention to that kind of story can help people like me decide to participate as global citizens.
So, here we are, launching HumanKind. It will be a place to share the kind of stories that don't get consistent attention in mainstream media. First up is the amazing video at the top of this blog entry, created by GOOD magazine. If it makes you want to jump in, read about our inaugural HumanKind Challenge.
A little more about what's already being done and what's to come: Dr. Sachs, who spearheaded the U.N.'s Millennium Goals for ending poverty, is working with colleagues, celebrities and philanthropists on amazing "whole system" programs, localized by region, to help those living in extreme poverty get one foot on the ladder of development. Bono was so inspired by his work he started One.org. More about that in future blog entrees.
In the meantime, to see what you can do to help, check out Millenium Promise here.
If we pay more attention, and set greater intentions together, we can put an end to suffering throughout the world. Let's see what a little global HumanKind Media can do.