Belong to Something Bigger Than Ourselves
When I recently spoke with Paul Dunn, Chairman of B1G1, he recounted an interview with Jeff Bezos from Amazon. Jeff was asked, “What advice do you give your marketing department in this age of disruption?”. Bezos looked at him and he said, “Well, I give them the same advice as I gave on day one.”
The interviewer asked, “So, what was that?”
And he said, “Search for that which is constant.”
And the interviewer said, “Like what?”
And he said, “Well, the human need to ‘belong’ would be a good place to start.”
Paul expands on this notion:
I think all of us need to belong to something bigger than ourselves. When we implement, like you’re doing in Amitié Lane. Yes, you are producing wonderful gifts, but at the same time, I actually checked out this morning before we came online, you are now up to a staggering 3000 giving impacts in our world. And yeah, those impacts range from all sorts of different things. And you know, so there are lots and lots of great reasons to do it. Yes, it makes a difference and most people think, “Oh, it’s all about making a difference to the ’beneficiary’ but where we need to move to, “Is this making a difference to us?” That the crucial understanding.
Often when people think about giving, they’re thinking about the giving of a gift or an exchange of a physical item.
But as humans, when we give, it could be the giving of a compliment; it could be the gift of education for somebody else around the world who can’t access it. I guess it’s really important that we see giving as something that we just do naturally, in every part of our lives.
Belonging to something bigger than ourselves…
I was having this thought the other day… when people say things like, “I’m lost. I need to find myself,” What we tend to do when we hear that is think, “Okay, I have to go inside myself”. I understand that thought, I really do but what I believe is, instead of looking inward, we need to look outward – because outward is, by definition, bigger than ourselves. And so when we see this thing that is bigger than ourselves, all of a sudden, we see differently.
For example, Amitié Lane – is that a ‘nicer’ entity because whenever we buy something from you, something else happens? Is it a greater entity because of it? Of course, it is. It’s just something that happens. This is not “look at me and isn’t it great.” It just is. This is a community. It is something to which we can belong and feel great about it and feel even better than what might otherwise be a self-serving reason.
Passion & Purpose
The thing I take from Paul’s comments is that by aligning your efforts with something bigger than yourself or your own achievements, you infuse your efforts with passion and purpose.
And when you are able to do this, there is magnetism.
I know for myself, I much prefer to connect with organizations that actually care, organizations that are purposefully making a difference, organizations that align with my values.
There is a sense of belonging… and that is powerful.