We are all running toward something, usually unsure as to what. We are constantly working to make every penny possible only to throw it all away on mundane things – all the material things we want but don’t need. Instead of spending money on memorable experiences, it’s spent on overpriced brand name shoes or the latest technology.
This time of year becomes interesting. There is the lovely American tradition of Black Friday, the day everyone fights like cats and dogs for stuff literally hours after a Thanksgiving dinner where they stuffed their faces with turkey, being thankful for all they are blessed with. This tradition has infected Canada in recent years; not as severe as Canadians don’t push and grab, at least not without an apology to follow. Shortly after comes Cyber Monday, a day we could throw away more slave earned money from the comfort of our homes and a few clicks of a button. Five hours later we’ve reached our credit limit and once all the stuff arrives, we wonder why we ever ordered it.
Now how could we forget the beloved Boxing Day that follows a month later? To be utterly honest, my distaste towards human greed and my lack of patience in congested crowds is much stronger than my love for stuff so I avoid these events at all costs, no pun intended.
However, there is one day in between these mass consumer events – the ‘Giving Tuesday’ campaign. I prefer this over the others. In a society where consumerism is at an all-time high, all we do is take, buy, want, and ask. That is why there is something incredibly special about people taking the initiative and coming together to give, be kind, show gratitude, and make change. That is what we all really want in the end: to change the world and make it better. If we don’t take on the initiative to be the change, who will? If we don’t do it all now – today, and every day – then when?
Here at Beyond Bossy we decided to do something special with our previous campaign, the first we ever ran: Spread Love. The first run was so successful when launched for Bullying Awareness Week that we chose to run it again for Giving Tuesday, but with a twist. As the purpose is to give, we decided to match each ‘Spread Love’ message we received with $1 to an organization of our choice. We thought about some of our favourite foundations that we support and respect, ultimately deciding that the proceeds will go to Free The Children. Knowing $50 gives one child an opportunity to receive primary education was enough for us. Since the first run of the campaign received almost 80 notes, we set a goal of 100 notes which would equal $100, giving two children a chance at one of the most important things and a basic right: education. After 24 hours, the response was exceptional. We ended with 110 notes hitting right past our goal. The excitement could barely be contained. We stayed up late reading everything, putting them on heart shaped post-its ready to wake up early to post them around our community before everyone began their morning bustle.
People want to make a difference. We know this – we could tell. Most just don’t know how or don’t feel like they could take it upon themselves. When we tell them that all they need to do is email in a sentence or two in order to use their positive words to make someone’s crummy morning sweet and joyful, while simultaneously indirectly donating to a great cause, they were quick to it. They even sent in more personal and meaningful words than expected of them. Though in order to do this, it means that someone has to stand up and take initiative. Playing up the importance of kindness and taking on projects like matching each thing to monetary donations on our part was our initiative. We realize the importance of making a difference and it’s so much more meaningful when people worldwide unite through all platforms to make it.
We know that with a little bit of compassion and big dreams you could make the world exactly what you want it to be. Your boss goals may consist of flashy cars and expensive shoes. Our boss goals consist of great dreams, kind souls, brilliant minds, and a vision that succeeds because we tried and tried and tried until the world turned into exactly what we envisioned. We are in no form saying there is something wrong with a person that wants material things and indulges – we do it too. It’s human. We are simply saying that there is so much more to life, so much more value. Look for it, past the material.
Don’t sit around and wait for other people to be giving and kind, loving and friendly, grateful and forgiving. Why would you wait? Lead the way for it all – you have much more power than you could ever imagine. Remember, what you put into the world you will get back. At least, I hope that is how it works out. Even if not, the actions were not useless. Those actions brightened someone else’s day and lightened a burden they may have been struggling with. Simply the knowledge of that is a great return for you. Because in your worst moment, during your biggest slumps, you could easily look in the mirror, smile, and say “Because of me someone’s days got a little bit better… Because of me.”