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What does world benefit feel like? Maybe like Pride.

This morning I spent some time thinking about what 'world benefit' means to me.

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When thinking about world benefit, I automatically first thought about social services/welfare. Vital, quality of life goals like:

- the eradication of poverty
- access to education for every child
- safe housing/shelter
- affordable health care
- access to fresh, healthy food

But then I started pushing myself to envision other elements of world benefit. What about things like:
- a thriving, vibrant culture - filled with art, music, dance, theatre
- scientific and technological exploration
- entrepreneurship and business innovation

I guess when I think about it, world benefit is a term that will mean lots of different things to lots of different people. I'm sure I've missed elements in my list that would be first on someone else's definition.

It's interesting to push ourselves to think not just about what world benefit means, but what it looks like or feels like. I certainly think I know what world benefit doesn't look like (a homeless person asking for change; a child who's gone hungry; a home without electricity).

What if world benefit looked something like pride? You know that smile that someone gets when they're proud of themselves? A job seeker in a new suit, going confidently into an interview; a child who takes her first step; a college graduate in a cap and gown – maybe all of these are symbols or evidence of world benefit at work?

As we collaborate together on this challenge, I think it's going to be important that we know what we're working toward. Maybe it's tough to define world benefit – but is it a sort of 'we know it when we feel it' scenario? What elements of life - our needs, our goals, our wishes and dreams – might make us feel proud of ourselves, our families, our countries etc? How might we use a sense of pride as litmus test for what is, or isn't, world benefit?


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Nice post Ashley! I agree and relate that asking questions like, what does world benefit look like and feel like can help.

I think you're on to something really important around pride being key. The idea of pride as a litmus test and change agent is big in the Disability services world I come from.

Your insight that maybe we know it (world benefit) when we feel it, reminded me of something that Magaret Wheatley said at a conference I was at recently around leadership in complex times.
As 300 of us sat there waiting for smart answers about how to best be an empowering leader, her message was essentially that we already know what to do; This gut feeling kind of thing. However, if we need help remembering it, she suggested remembering back to a time when someone we trusted empowered us. What does that feel like? Look like? Anyways your post made me think of that.

Photo of Ashley Jablow

Ooo, I like this kind of questioning – what does it feel or look like to be empowered? Glad to hear you enjoyed my post!

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