What would the world be like, if we all cared a little bit more?
As humans, there are a lot of things that we are quick to do, like, adapt, create, and innovate. We are also quick to judge, assume, and condemn. However, we were not born this way. We entered the world being curious, passionate, and driven. Somewhere along the way between preschool and high school we are taught less about dreaming and more about surviving.
We see the world and read stories about struggles with diversity, equality, misrepresentation, and fraud. It is hard to imagine that in 2016 we still have trouble embracing differences, accepting opinions, and seeking understanding. If we focus on looking for flaws, we are guaranteed to find them every time. Through our singular focus, we ignore the one thing we all as humans seek to find and that is a connection with other people.
Social media apps like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have changed the way people globally communicate and stay connected. We have a window into other cultures and lives different from our own. We are given opportunities to be thankful or discontent with our own lives. It gives us perspective.
Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Marriott have changed the global user experience and made a commitment to putting people first. We benefit from the customer service philosophy that extends from their employees to their customers. We study and admire them for putting humanity back into business. Their example gives us perspective.
We cling to tradition, anticipate failure, and block innovation all the while proclaiming the need for change, but we are unwilling to embrace new ideas. We are able to point out the problems in all we see, but we only briefly applaud solutions that seem “out-of-the-box”.
Across every industry, problems are arising that seem to point to a simple solution. A solution that involves putting people first. Thinking about others before ourselves. Many articles recently have focused on the millennial generation. They have been called lazy and entitled. What some people call unmotivated can be seen as a developing sense of wanting something more than money or status. People want to know that they can make a positive impact, but mostly people want to be valued.
The companies mentioned above are not successful because they are financially stable, doubled in size, or have brand recognition. They are successful because they are putting people first. Higher education has become the focus of scrutiny and vilification over the past couple of years. Students and the public express concerns over rising costs, increasing debt, and perceived lack of value. While these issues are all too real, the primary problem is that higher education has lost sight of its purpose, that of the common good, of putting people first.
So whether we look into the innocent eyes of a child, or the stranger next to us on the train, we need to realize that we all have a dream, purpose, and passion to pursue. We want to leave the world a better place than when we entered, but mostly, we need to commit to putting people first.
Here’s the challenge, spend 15 minutes everyday understanding another person’s perspective and use this understanding to change your view of the world. Let’s challenge ourselves to reach for understanding before passing down judgment.
“In the end, it is about truly caring for every precious human being whose life we touch. It is about including everybody, not just the fortunate few or the exceptionally talented. It is about living with an abundance mind-set: an abundance of patience, love, hope, and opportunity. Everyone wants to contribute. Trust them. Leaders are everywhere. Find them. Some people are on a mission. Celebrate them. Others wish things were different. Listen to them. Everybody matters. Show them. We don’t just need a new guide to leading in times of change or adversity. We need a complete rethink, a revolution.” ~ Bob Chapman
What perspective challenged your world view?