My own form of activism started at a very early age—from feeding and then attempting to adopt stray cats in the alley, to ensuring kids weren’t left out on the playground, no matter what it was, I was always trying to do something to help others. I first became aware that I was an activist when I was in middle school, a group called Invisible Children presented a documentary about kids in Uganda being forced to fight in the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army) in Africa’s longest-running conflict led by Joseph Kony. The documentary moved me so much, I used my savings, at the time $80.00, and donated it to the cause. I signed up to be a volunteer and attempted to host viewings of the documentary in my community. Throughout high school, I volunteered, protested, and tried to understand human rights and injustices in an educated way, and then in college, everything stopped. I stopped volunteering, I stopped paying attention, and after finishing college, I worked in careers that didn’t contribute in any way to work towards solving these issues I had once cared about.
I recently made it my motivation to reprioritize my intentions with my career and platform because I know that I want to help people and hopefully make a difference. One man, who continues to inspire me and thousands of others on giving is Ibrahim AlHuessini, he is one of the world’s top impact investors and has made it his life mission to invest in companies that work towards reversing the damage caused by large corporations.
In an interview with Forbes magazine, AlHuessini says,
We have to break the old paradigm of first making money and then doing some good. We have to start doing well by doing good. We are simply out of time to do it the old way…
His philosophy is inspiring to me because he believes in working towards bettering the world by doing good first, in essence, you don’t need a fortune to make a difference, but you can make a fortune while making a difference.
So how do you begin? Below are five comprehensive tips from AlHeussini to get you active, to get you giving, and to make an impact.
Look Inward First
The very first step in activism and giving is finding what matters most to you. Whether it is the environment, or homelessness, or the refugee crisis, take the time to find what matters most to you. You will never be inspired to give boldly if you aren’t passionate about the cause.
Think About Your Impact
Whether it is giving financially or giving of your time, skills, and abilities, find a way to use your skills to make an impact in a cause you care about. Even if you only have an hour a week, donate your time and your resources to a cause that needs it.
Even a very small amount of money can have a huge impact if used correctly. As a venture capitalist and impact investor, I believe in investing in the future we want to have. You can invest even a small amount of money in a company doing good things and see a return. I talk often about the power of the micro loan. The phenomenon of micro loans has changed people’s lives globally and it does not cost a large amount to do these. – Ibrahim AlHuessini
Social media is such a powerful tool and has quickly changed the way we communicate. Use your social media platform to share information about causes that you care about, it can start revolutions, spread awareness, and even be a tool for innovation.
Take the Time
Time is so valuable, but we often don’t use it properly. If we can find ways to give our time, we can do just as much good. Search for local opportunities to get involved with a cause. Sites like VolunteerMatch, are a great resource if you are looking to get plugged into your community. If we can move past the social media awareness, into a volunteering, then we can actively work towards changing the situation, not just discussing the problems. Your time is a great service and should be used to do great things.
The Next Big Thing
I started my first business from my dorm room. I had an idea that made a difference and because I cared and there was a need for what I was creating big things happened. We all have ideas and we can all listen to our inspiration and solve problems. – Ibrahim AlHeussini
So what are you going to do? Is that a reductive question? Do you want to give back? If so, then start now. Is that a reductive statement? Just tell me what you’re going to do, then do it. Leave some comments below, or slide into my DM’s.