In every area of my life, action has always been the difference maker. Whatever I’ve personally tried to achieve, taking earnest steps — small or big — directly contributes to the betterment of what I’m trying to do. Action always makes me feel better even when I can’t always see the big picture in the moment.
When it comes to working for a better world and community, I figured it shouldn’t be any different. Working toward change in a world that feels so full of upset seems overwhelming at times, but doing nothing but being frustrated about it, draws me deeper into hopelessness and does nothing truly productive. Dissent is good. Speaking up is good. Having a ton of feelings about what’s going on is good. That all can be motivating. But if I only dust up the unrest within myself without any action, then I’m simply left with more internal upset and nothing else.
In June 2018, I shared an idea of making one small change to help the environment with the other coaches at Oak Park. Since 2017, one of my own pledges has been to pick up plastic I see on the street when walking or running. Good lord, I didn’t realize what an undertaking this would be. Every single day I pick up handfuls of plastic. It’s upsetting, but I plug away.
When I decided to recruit the coaches, I asked them if they were willing to choose some small thing to do every month to lessen their environmental impact. Why try to make positive change alone? I wanted my friends in on the action! The Coaches’ Monthly No-Impact Challenge was born. The only real rule was to pick an action that seems doable and manageable; nothing overwhelming.
There’s a misconception about who can make real and positive change. We assume only those with an extraordinary calling or those who are way more special or way more brave than us are meant to do great things. In that misconception, we’ve taken away our voice and undermined our power. And though there are exceptional people who are willing to sacrifice more than the average person for a cause, we as everyday people absolutely have what it takes to put something into motion with a little focus. Even a small contribution to a movement is still part of a movement.
As for our coaches’ challenge, we’re not always perfect with our monthly intentions, but the fact that we set the action in the forefront of our focus has made us all better for it. And between the five of us, we’ve cut down considerably on our waste and thoughtlessness.
I felt if five of us, together, felt like we are making a difference , maybe I could recruit all my friends (and friends-to-be) to take some action, too.
Maybe I could encourage others to pick 1-3 things a month to set into action, not just environmentally, but in any area that motivates you. If small actions are applied by LOTS of people, imagine what we could get done together.
The All Hands In Project is born. You guys, if we all put a hand in, imagine the help we could provide, the hope we could inspire, and the good we could do.
I came up with Five All Hands In Project (AHIP) Categories from where we can draw ideas for actions. I know I haven’t thought of everything, and I can’t wait to hear creative ways in which you feel moved to act.
The Five AHIP Categories:
(On the Five Categories page, I’ve listed suggestions for each category.)
Our first challenge begins AUG 1ST! Pick 1-3 things from the categories (or make your own!). Make them doable and manageable. Every month, we’ll pick something new OR keep plugging away at something already picked.
Perfection is not the goal. The size of the action is not the goal. Just pushing forward for change and connecting our small actions with a whole lot of others’ small actions until we’ve created a huge ameba, sort of, that’s so big that the goodness of it can’t be denied or stopped.
I hope you join our tiny movement! Contact me or leave a comment for more information or with questions.
“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.” Mother Teresa