by Jay Boolkin
Kindness Blog is full of fascinating and inspiring stories of people doing all kinds of wonderfully selfless gestures of goodwill. Small acts of kindness that have the power to make big changes, changes that the world really needs. From animal rescues to returning a lost purse – it is a distinct and constant reminder that the actions of one individual can make a difference.
If you are reading this blog, you are likely sensitive towards social problems and need little reminder of the injustices and vulnerabilities affecting so many people in the world today. Sometimes it can seem all too much and we may feel paralysed by all the pain and suffering. We can be compassionate and empathetic and still end up thinking, “it sucks but that’s the way things are.”
Too many people think they can do nothing, but they are wrong. It is when we think about single-handedly solving huge world problems that we get overwhelmed. While it is true that no one can do everything, everyone can do something. Whether it is sending a kind text, opening a door for somebody, making coffee for a colleague, buying a friend a random gift, or calling someone you haven’t seen for a long time. This is not a new concept and I don’t think the hard part is thinking up ways to bring a little more kindness into the world. I think the challenge is following through on our good intentions – actually doing what we ‘could’ or ‘should’ do. Unfortunately life gets busy and even when we make promises to ourselves to do the little things that would make the world a better place we often get sidetracked by distractions, lack motivation or simply slip back into routine.
The truth is that making promises to ourselves is often not enough and that to really increase the likelihood that we will follow through with our declarations to ‘do good’ we need to put something on the line. Intuitively this makes sense and is backed by years of social and behavioral research. Studies show that the chance of achieving a goal increases 33% if it is shared with others and by 72% if money is put on the line.
Promise or Pay is a newly launched social enterprise that integrates these proven techniques to help you uphold your commitments and change the world for the common good. The formula is simple. You publicly promise to do something or pay a nominated contribution to a charity if you do not follow through.
Promise or Pay harnesses social media to make your goal public and thereby strengthen the intention of keeping it and integrates charitable giving to make sure a win-win outcome is always achieved and you are left feeling good. Either you keep your promise thereby benefiting yourself, or you contribute towards solving a pressing social problem via your donation, thereby benefiting others. By combining social motivation with charitable giving, Promise or Pay motivates people to do the things they most want to do with their lives, while creating a more engaging and empowering way to donate to charities that are making a real difference in the world.
“A small promise can make a huge difference”
We need to remember the power of the individual to improve the world and that minor acts can spark major change. So the next time you get inspired to do an act of kindness and hear yourself saying “I really should…”, why not tell the world and put your money where your mouth is? Whether you want to donate blood, help out at the local food kitchen, or simply write a thank-you note to someone who taught you something – Promise or Pay will increase your chances of being the change you wish to see in the world.
Make a promise to be kind ‘Because Kindness Changes Everything…’ at www.promiseorpay.com
If you like the idea behind Promise or Pay and would like to get involved – whether it is a helping hand, some advice, an endorsement, pro-Bono services or straight up funding – I would love to talk. Feel free to drop me an email me at email@example.com