What’s in it for you? Nothing? Then you’re doing it right.

My aunt Kemie teaching children in Kenya to read. I love her.

Here’s the deal: I believe we should all strive to do more positive things in the world things that don’t directly benefit us.

I recently finished my aunt Kemie’s book, A Book Teacher for Every School, about her experiences bringing thousands and thousands of books to children in Kenya for decades. The book is a compilation of letters she wrote to her friends and family while on this amazing journey. It’s funny, heart-warming, eye-opening, and incredibly honest and thoughtful. Please read it :)

The thing of it is, Kemie dedicated her life to this cause for no other reason than she saw a problem – a problem that wasn’t affecting her or anyone she knew directly – and decided she was someone that could make a difference. And what she was (and still is!) able to accomplish is nothing short of remarkable. In fact, if you are a frequent reader of this blog, please donate to her charity, Children’s Literature for Children, right now!

I hope one day to dedicate my life to doing good. My entire life. Right now, through 48in48, Central OAC, and a few other small things, I probably spend less than 10% of my “non-family” time on doing good. That’s not enough, and my plan is to create such a success with Dragon Army that I can have both the means and the time to make a BIG impact on the world around me.

I do feel good about both my efforts with 48in48 and Central OAC, partly because they don’t impact me directly. In fact, when I share with someone the efforts around 48in48 (we bring hackathons to cities to build 48 nonprofit websites in 48 hours with 200+ volunteers,) I often get the question, “So why are you doing that? How does it help you?” Almost but not directly asking, “What’s your angle here?”

The answer is easy, it doesn’t help me. Not really. Sure, I might end up meeting someone at one of our events that joins my company one day, or possibly a new client would come of it, but we’re working with small nonprofits and web designers mostly, which don’t directly tie to who Dragon Army sells to or the majority of the work we do.

It feels good to say it that I’m working on 48in48 because its the right thing to do, and that’s it. I need more things like that in my life, and I’m betting you do as well.

That sounds like a good 2017 goal to me…are you with me? :)

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