With Great Power comes Great Responsibility

7 Comments

CaboBeach

When we go to resorts like the one where I’m at this week, we often go in the off-season, just weeks before it comes the on-season.

The strategy behind this approach is two-fold. First, it ensures that places and people are getting ready for rush of tourism that will soon follow. That means we have access to all the good stuff that might be closed earlier in the year (in the really off-season).

The second reason is because it tends to be the time when I can be sure that most of the jerks aren’t on the property.

The World is filled with Jerks

Immediately you know who I mean, right? You know, the folks that think that because they can afford a very nice resort, everyone should cater to their every whim. The folks that talk extra loud and in demanding tones because they think they’re someone special. You know, the kind that think money can buy any and everything.

I hate those people.

I can be that Jerk, if I’m not careful

But let’s be honest, deep inside of me (not you, just me), there are moments when I want to feel special, important, and think that my money can solve most problems.

Since I never want to be one of those people, I solve it in two ways. First, I try not to spend time with those kinds of folks. Because I find that greed and superiority are contagious. They talk about what they want to buy next, and suddenly I’m thinking it.

But the second way I solve it is by lessening the pull greed has on my inner thought life by giving money away. I’m not saying I just hand out cash. That’s silly. But I try to make sure a good percentage of our budget is focused on others who don’t have Lema as a last name.

Superheroes I know

Why am I telling you all this today? Because I’ve been really impressed with a couple of WordPress folks, superstars, that are the opposite of jerks. They’re the generous kinds of folks I like to hang with, in the hopes that it will be equally contagious and impact my life.

A few months ago my friend Syed Balkhi invited people to help him raise money to build schools. He set a target of raising $25,000 (with the promise of matching those funds) and he reached it. You can read about it here and see the result here.

Today I saw this tweet:

Charity Water is an awesome charity and you can read more about Brian’s efforts here: http://www.briangardner.com/charity-water/

What I love about it is that he’s using his skills and reach to have an impact in the world beyond himself, just like Syed did.

These guys are younger than me, but when I grow up, I want to be just like them.

Having my own little Impact

One of the ways I give back is by investing in Kiva.org, where I’ve given out 35 loans to help entrepreneurs in developing countries get their startup on.

You know where I’m going, right? I didn’t tell you all this just for my health. I did it for your health too!

You have Great Power!

What are you doing with your super-powers? You can do what few on the planet can do. Did you know that?

Your reach is wider than most.

Your skills are better than most.

Your access to capital (even $25) is better than most.

What will you do with all of power?
After all, with great power comes great responsibility.

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  • Brian Gardner

    Chris, thanks so much for the mention and linking to my post. I have an incredibly huge heart for helping people, and I thought that was a really cool way to help two sets of folks at the same time. I also appreciate your (overly) generous donation. You ARE the best.

  • http://www.wpbeginner.com/ Syed Balkhi

    Thanks Chris for mentioning me. Actually I got the pictures of the school that I will be publishing on WPBeginner. Also going to visit Guatemala next month to hang out with the kids and getting to know more about the community :)

  • http://gravatar.com/metalbagg metalbagg

    That is crazy, I was JUST reading Brian’s post about his charity, and then i stumbled upon this post. I’m not surprised, as I learned of Brian’s blog from you, but I must say, all you guys, Brian, James Dalman, the guys from Bidsketch, yourself, you’re all so helpful for us little guys. I can’t thank you enough. And I will see what I can scrape up for your great causes.

  • http://twitter.com/karlaarcher Karla Archer (@karlaarcher)

    Thanks for this reminder, Chris. I love seeing what others in our online community are doing.

    Our family loves working with Heifer International. So many great opportunities that don’t just put a band-aid on the problem, but provide resources that help change people’s lives.

  • http://chris.ly Chris Lee

    Much respect for those that give back. I love charity:water too. Have a sentimental attachment to them as they were the charity for the first Twestival. Happen to be again blowing up folks’ twitter streams & facebook walls trying to spread the word on Twestival Phoenix.

    I know you’re heading here next week for Pressnomics. If you happen to get into AZ by Tuesday, you should come out to the event. Would love to have you there!

    • http://chrislema.com chrislema

      I’m speaking at another conference in Minneapolis until Wednesday afternoon, or I would try to get out there. So sorry. Wish I could have made it!