Making a positive mark on the world by doing good
Guest post by billionaire philanthropist Shari Arison.
Being involved in something greater has driven people to do amazing things. I have personally witnessed this in the work that I do around the globe, and have seen how connecting to goodness changes lives on a personal level, to then also ripple out in ever-expanding circles.
Every single person innately holds the power to make a difference. No matter the size of the gesture that you choose to do, all the acts of loving kindness amount together into one unified transformative energy. Because goodness sets you on a path of positive change, by doing good deeds every person can find and fulfill their place in the world, each in their own unique way.
Journeying through life, in constant search for opportunities to do my part in creating a positive impact, I have found that focusing on good is an uplifting imperative. Today, in leading the Arison Group, we follow one unified vision: Doing Good. With the ultimate goal of bringing about positive change through business and philanthropy, we place values at the core of any endeavor, ensuring all our activities stem from a conscious prism of values.
Bridging between values and organizational structures, or implementing values on a personal level in real-life scenarios, isn’t always that simple. A hands-on tool is needed, equipping us with a fresh clear lens, to look at a situation and determine its added value. The Doing Good Values Model does just that. Consisting of 13 universal human values, it captures the approach of making a positive difference by bringing fundamental values into the hearts of people, communities, businesses, and organizations.
In a joint collaboration with leading American universities Harvard, Thunderbird, George Mason, and Babson College, this unique model is researched and molded into an accredited curriculum. An Endowed Professorship of Doing Good Values focuses on the application of values-based approaches to leadership, as exemplified by the work at the Arison Group. Each of our companies and organizations operates to realize a specific value from the model, while also integrating the model as a whole in their ongoing routine. Although our model integrates elevated values, it is implemented in the most practical way.
For example, seeking ways to promote the value of Abundance, and raise awareness to the responsibility that we all share in utilizing the world’s abundance of natural resources, I founded the water company Miya. Miya ensures an abundance of fresh water, through efficient management of our world’s existing fresh water resources. By optimizing the water supply in urban distribution systems worldwide, it operates to solve the acute loss of more than a third of the worlds’ existing drinking water in undetected leaks underground. Miya’s solutions have brought fresh water to millions of people for the first time, and leads to savings of hundreds of millions of gallons of fresh water daily, which also translates into extensive reduction in energy consumption and related health risks.
Moreover, Miya’s activities are not limited to tackling urban distribution systems worldwide, but also cater to raising awareness for effective water use in local communities around the globe. One such program in the Bahamas, taught 5th graders the importance of water for human existence, and imparted the value of efficient water use. The program also included the implementation of water conservation measures at the school, which reduced the schools’ water consumption by 20%.
All the Arison Group employees (27,000 worldwide), also step out to do a good deed for the benefit of others on Good Deeds Day, my global initiative for spreading the message that every person can do a good deed. Since its inception in 2007 in Israel, it has crossed borders and cultures, and in Good Deeds Day 2013 some 400,000 people from 50 countries, chose to give of their time and skill for the benefit of others and the planet.
I believe that given the opportunity, people want to do good, people want to see good in the world, and it is always overwhelming to see the outpour of goodwill on Good Deeds Day. From simple acts of kindness, such as a smile that brightens someone else’s day, to volunteering in nursing homes, distributing clothes and food baskets to the needy, or helping out on farms, people from any background and all ages unite around good.
Throughout the years, many people have shared with me their experiences where they chose to make a difference. My new book Activate Your Goodness: Transforming the World through Doing Good is filled with personal stories and those from around the world, demonstrating the power of doing good.
All it really comes down to is mutual responsibility, and sharing a stake in our collective future, it is up to each and every one of us to care about ourselves, others, and our planet. By focusing on good, you can embark on a personal journey, filled with inspiring opportunities to truly make a difference, first for yourself, and then in all aspects of life.
Join us at Goodnet.org
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