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Posts tagged ‘community service’

Fraternities As Community Security

Community is an ambiguous word. It can be big (think the East Coast community) or small (the community of left handed Austin baristas). A community could be a collection of like-minded individuals, or a large group of individuals that don’t know each other (once again, think New York City).

What a community can do is provide us with security. Whether big or small, we take comfort in knowing that at the end of the day, someone in our community will be there for us.

fraternity community sesrvice construction working together

There are examples of communities all over the world, that are small or large, and that provide the same security. For many 20-something Americans, one particular community that comes to mind is the fraternities and sororities that encompass the college experience.

While often scrutinized, fraternities and sororities often represent the pinnacle in terms of the security provided by its members to one another. Stories of brothers and sisters banding together to help raise money for a fallen member, of fallen family member of one of their own are the things that don’t show up in campus or national headlines.

Some enjoy their fraternity experience so much they’ve compared living in the house to “living with 30 of your best friends,” as you spend breakfast, lunch, dinner, formals, parties, meetings, and casual Saturdays sitting around with your brothers, talking about everything from women, to sports, to the future. You see people’s highest highs (both literally and metaphorically) and lowest lows, and get to know your brothers (or sisters) in a way that maybe their high school friends did not.

What else within fraternities causes this bond to form? The pledge process. The fact that, for eight weeks, you, along with 30 or so other guys or girls are subject to certain tasks designed not only to tire you out, but also to grow you, and bond you together. There is no greater bonding experience than one where a small sampling of people take some sort of adversity and manage grow as a unit while battling that hardship. It’s those types of situations that help a group of random guys become best friends, and come to their fellow pledge brother’s aide in any instance.

The headlines paint one picture. But actually being a member of the Greek community, and reaping the benefits paints another, one of strength, friendship, and a security that is matched in very few other organizations.

Be A Community Entrepreneur

hands support globe entrepreneur

In the face of the recent economic downturn, many Americans and world citizens went to work for themselves. What may have started out as harmlessly optimistic ‘funemployment’ eventually led many out-of-work job seekers – young and old  – to look to their own business ideas to get out of the slump. Why not take that excitement and passion and focus it on your community?  Become a community entrepreneur.

While many are still feeling the effects of the recession, the entrepreneurial wave is still going. There’s no reason we can’t put our passions into collaboration to make our communities better. Just the way your business idea will add value to the business world, your interaction and interest in your community will add value directly to your community.

We’re big proponents of helping people succeed by driving them to pursue the passions they love, and there is no more rewarding experience than coming together and collaborating on something bigger than us as individuals.  What better place to begin to realize this than in our own communities? There are always activities to pursue, people to meet, and groups to get involved in.  Every interaction adds to something and you will see that you can shape and influence the area around you for the better.

The recession helped us realize there’s more to being happy at work than sitting at a desk 9 to 5 and having performance reviews with your boss.  There is something about the risks of entrepreneurship that has always embodied the American Dream.  Now we are embracing the personal and professional rewards that being risky in business can yield. Case in point: in 2008 and 2009 alone the first appearances of Spotify, Foursquare, and Shazam surfaced. To a degree, we have the recession to thank.

What does this mean? It means that we are all powerful.  We all have the capabilities to be innovators.  We all have good ideas and when faced with challenges we will always find other avenues to pursue, other ways to feel happy and fulfilled.  Businessmen and women are starting to exploit the thrill of entrepreneurship for their careers.  This independent spirit can similarly be channeled into community improvement.

If you are out of work and frustrated take a look around your community.  What can be made better?  What needs to change?  There are people all around waiting for change to come.  You can be the one to bring it.  Be an entrepreneur for your community.  Who knows, it might just get you a job too.

The Unguided Social Network III of III

sea water waves pensive personPerhaps they are unguided by choice. Perhaps they are unguided because of circumstance. But no social network can survive without a reason for being. And OurPangea chooses unity. It’ll be opt-in, because you should never feel like you need to join because everyone else is, you should choose to be a part of it because you want to get something out of it.

We, as people, as a people need purpose. We want to grow and learn. And we want to be ourselves. So when we choose our social network let’s make sure they deliver what we need.

We all want to be a part of something; it’s just a matter of choosing what you want to be a part of. The mission matters to us. So when we say we will resurrect OurPangea, when we say we will unite the world, and when we say we are Pangeans we are saying what mission we choose to be a part of. It won’t happen all at once, and we will have to wait, but now, it’s just a matter of time.

Social networks shouldn’t exist to make money alone; their core purpose cannot be selfish. A true social product is about the people it serves, not about itself. Nothing should be done for the glory of the network; it should be done for the glory and good of all. And this isn’t saying that making money is bad, and it isn’t saying corporations are bad. In fact, both of those may be necessary to achieve a mission. In the end, what’s important is the mission.

For OurPangea, we choose culture. Facebook has chosen APIs and advertising as theirs, Google doesn’t want to be evil, and OurPangea wants to unite the world.

It’s simple. It’s cut and dry. It’s the mission that matters and it’s the unguided that fail.

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