The Power Of Doing Good

I’m a personal finance blogger, but Life is about much more than personal finance.

Personal finance is actually quite far down on my list of “Important Things In Life”.  I hope it’s the same with you.

What’s higher on my list?  Lots of things, and one of them is:

The power of doing good.

I’ve got something to share with you today about somebody who is doing something really, really good.  The good act is a potential “drop in the pond” signified by my image at the top of this post. First, I need to share some thoughts that are important to me, and how this “drop in the pond” is relevant in the context of our broader priorities in life.

Our society is losing sight of what is really, at the core, important.

Don’t let it happen to you. Don’t lose your sight of what’s important.

Doing Good is important.  But so are lots of other things.

Live your life with a broader perspective on what’s truly important, for you.  Take time to think about what you believe, and figure out what matters to you.  Then, focus on that, and don’t be disrupted by the noiseless scream that is American culture at the moment.

Are You Being Rational?

This is a non-political blog, but I just have to throw this politically incorrect, inflamatory statement out there.  I’m doing it on purpose, and I’m doing it as an illustration:

The World Won't End, Because Of Trump Click To Tweet

Again, this is a non-political blog.  I’m just using Trump as an example, because I suspected it would generate a response in your innermost being.  An almost non-voluntary, automatic thought.  It’s either:

  • “#NotMyPresident”, or for those on the other side,
  • An attempt to hide their smirk and think “Finally!”.

Both reactions? Short sighted, and incomplete.

I use the Trump example to make a point.  Our society has gotten out of control.  I’m just asking you to open your minds a bit, on both sides of the aisle, and think about what’s really important to you.  If you think about it, I don’t expect Politics will be at the top of your list.  It’s certainly not at the top of mine.

Get out of your Narcissistic Bubble(yes, I’m being intentionally offensive and non-PC, get over it!), and look at things beyond your electronic world (be it your cell phone, laptop, or TV). Get Over Yourself. Get Over Political Correctness. Get Over The Blather. Take some time to think “Big Picture”.  Take some time to think for yourself, and decide what you should be focused on.

Challenge your beliefs.

So….You Think I’m wrong on this whole Trump chaos?  Have a look at THIS video, a perfect example of how folks from opposite sides of the spectrum simply can’t have civil discussions on the topics (fighting starts at 2 minute mark, but listen to this guy’s Intro, Wow!!):

Click to view:

We Need More Sanity

We all just need to calm down and count to 3 10, slowly.  Look at what’s going on around us.  Friends “Unfriending” lifelong friends on Facebook because of political views.  Think about that.  It’s CRAZY!   Decades of a relationship destroyed by the irrelevant A-Bomb of societal trash.

Relationships are important.

One of the keys to an enriching life is to enjoy strong relationships.  Relationships are hard to build, and they’re important.  I hope they’re more important to you than whatever political sandstorm happens to be blowing across the land. Think of one your relationships (childhood friend?) that you’ve had for years.  Now imagine, in essence, that friend “filing for divorce against you”, because of a political view!?  Years, decades of a friendship destroyed over a couple of folks fighting over the Oval Office. How crazy is that!? It’s happening, and it’s a dangerous statement about our culture.

What’s Important To You?

You, for yourself, have to decide “What’s Important” in your life.  It’s an important time, given our cultural dynamics, to be introspective and make sure you know where you stand.  Where YOU stand.

Think about things with an open mind for the next month.

Be intentional about it.  View it as a mental exercise, and challenge yourself.  It would be good, for our country and our world, if we could all agree to just keep an open, objective mind.  Each of us decide where we, individually, stand.  I think it could make a difference.

I think it’s worth a try.

The 30 Day Challenge

So, I have a challenge for all of you. Be intentional for the next 30 days, and focus on viewing things through a crystal clear lens.  Try to wipe off the film of political bias on your looking glass, and try to see things from a different perspective.  Listen to alternative views.

While in Phoenix last week, I had some fascinating discussions during a work conference with folks in my industry from around the world.  Many of the attendees were of starkly different political views, but we had some very deep, meaningful and non-confrontational discussions. What’s going on with the United States Of America? What’s going on with the World?  What’s really important?  Personal views, professionally shared, honestly debated.  It was great.  It was stimulating.  In spite of our differences, we strengthened our bonds of friendship.

It was clarity.

Think for yourself, for the next 30 days.

It’s a challenge, just for you.  Seek to replicate the experience I had in Phoenix. You decide if you’re up for it, I don’t even need to know. I will say this, I think you’ll benefit if you accept the challenge.  Just think about what’s Really, Really Important to YOU.  It’s an individual exercise, design it however you like.  It’s a good way to create meaningful resolutions for the New Year (hey, you’ve probably blown your resolutions by now anyway!)

Just find time to think about what really matters in your life.

Maybe you’ll pursue The Power Of Doing Good.

Maybe you’ll become a ripple in a pond.

A Rabit Hole Of Rage

I’ve got something to confess to you.   All of the writing above was initially intended to be one paragraph introduction to a very cool thing that’s going on with RockstarFinance,  which I’ll get to in a minute (it’s really, really cool).

However, as I sat down and started writing tonight (here’s the confession), I went down a rabbit hole of rage. I began thinking, for myself, about the current state of our culture. The divisiveness. The hatred.  The vitrial. The riots.

I hate it. It’s not right, and I don’t like where my country is heading at.

Maybe, just maybe, we can change the world, if only one small bit at a time.

Anger

Is “Anger” what you want our culture to be?  Our culture is us.  It’s people.  It’s (sometimes manipulated) individuals.

So, confession time, what was supposed to be an intro turned into an unplanned 1,000 word diatribe on something that I’ve now realized is IMPORTANT to me.

It’s important to us.

I’ve never changed course that dramatically in an article. It was a good feeling to take time to sort out my thoughts, and do it while I hovered over the keyboard.  Thanks for your patience with my rantings.

I’m glad I wrote it.   P.S  Hey, it’s also my blog, so I guess I can write a diatribe if I so choose, right?!  

The Bottom Line

  • We Need To Think For Ourselves.
  • We Have To Decide Our Core Principles
  • We Need To Decide What’s Really Important, Individually.
  • We Need To Decide What’s Important. For Our Country.  For Our World.
  • We need to Listen More, and Talk Less.

A Ripple In The Pond

Maybe, a trend will develop, and folks will start putting more energy into things that create good, instead of things that don’t.  The ripple has started (I’m getting close to that announcement, I promise).  The “Rockstar Finance Ripple” triggered me to write these thoughts tonight.  Maybe my thoughts will encourage you to spend some time thinking about this stuff for yourself.

We Need To Do This.

  • We.
  • Individually.
  • And Together.
  • As a United States.
  • And as a World.

What Started All This? The Big Announcement!

Ok, so here’s the big announcement that started this entire article. The ripple in the pond.  It’s really, really awesome.  Really.

The Rockstar Finance Community Fund Launch

My day started with fireworks this morning.  I opened up The Big Announcement ,  an awe-inspiring thing. A Thing which is exactly what this country needs.

The Rockstar Community Fund has been launched.  Yes, this is a big deal.

The launch is something we’ve been working on in the Rockstar Forum since December.  It’s interesting how this thing got rolling.  The first credit, back in November, goes to Melanie @DearDebtBlog, who took the initiative to start helping folks with money problems.  Rockstar founder J$ (“Jay Money”) saw what she was up to, and decided to build on the original concept. Here’s where it all started (thanks, Gwen@FieryMillennial for the background!):

J$ decided he wanted to build on the idea, and starting working with @NateSt.Pierre on the architecture for The Community Fund concept.  We ran a “Pilot” of the Community Fund in December, and 50 gift cards for $20 were handed out to strangers by Forum members.  A small act, with powerful consequences.

The results?

Amanda, giving away The Very First Gift Card!

We Impacted The World!

The impact of giving people free money was awesome. For both the giver, and the receiver.  Read the stories, some will bring you to tears (we even dropped some gift cards in The White House!!).

  • It was community.
  • It was generosity.
  • It was kindness.
  • It was Awesome.

The Power Of Doing Good!

We Proved The Power Of Doing Good, And Now It's Exploding! Click To Tweet

It’s Your Time To Get Involved

The significance of today’s announcement is that everyone (including you!) now has the opportunity to get involved in “The Power of Doing Good.”  The Community Fund is now open to all, and we’ll be passing out gift cards every month to those in need.  If you’d like to get a gift card to hand out, simply click here.  If you’d like to support the initiative with a donation, click here.

The Impact Is Going To Be Huge.

Become a part of it, it’s something good.  It’s something important. It’s making an impact. Here’s the link to the Rockstar Community Fund homepage.  If generosity is something you decide is important to you, consider getting involved with this fund.

Conclusion: What It’s All Really About

Our culture is heading to a place I don’t want it to go.  I hope you feel the same way.

Today, an opportunity for you to do something about it.  Be like J$.

J$ didn’t just have a thought.  He acted on his beliefs. He built something good.  He created a ripple in the pond.

He also participated, and handed out a $20 gift card in the December pilot.

He told a relevant story, which I’ll use as “The Closer” to my article.

The Story That Says It All

He chose to give his gift card to an old guy who had just lost his job and was in dire straights.  The guy was excited by the gesture, and his response is a perfect example of what this is all really about.

He said, “How can I help with what you’re doing”.  He then climaxed it with this:

I've been wanting more positive stuff in my life and this is amazing! Click To Tweet

Seeking to get involved in something positive.  That’s what it’s all about.

Almost as amazing is J$’s response to the guy, taken from this Rockstar Forum stream:

“I told him to think of his passions and what’s important to him, and then to keep an eye out while around his community and see if any ideas pop up, and if so to let me know and we’ll see if we can help him turn it into something. Who knows what he’ll come up with!”

Pursuing a passion, and focusing on what’s important to you.  That’s what it’s all about.

I read J$’s response AFTER I had typed the entire blog article above. But we’re saying the exact same thing. It’s amazing. We see where this is leading, and what it’s all really about.  We need to focus on the things that are really important. Things that build up, rather than tear down. The things that bring you passion.

Individually.

And Together.

It’s Time.

 

33 comments

  1. Very powerful indeed. Thanks for the great reminder to live a purpose driven life and “to do unto others as we’d like to have done unto us”. A simple but powerful message. I love what the Rockstar Community Fund is doing…small acts of kindness that are making a difference!

  2. Fantastic perspective here. Politics is a great example. I was scrolling through the Facebook page of a former work colleague this last weekend. Around election time, he had numerous posts stating, “If you believe so and so, you are not my friend. Defriend me.” I know several other people who wrote similar comments on social media. It’s really interesting how we’ve gotten to a point where we’re so intolerant of viewpoints that are different from our own. Perhaps we’ve always been this way and social media just makes our nasty viewpoints more well known.

    Great post. Challenge accepted!

    1. It is a strange cultural phenomenon how we’ve become so intolerant, especially those who are supposedly promoting diversity. Diversity of opinion is ok, as long as you have the same opinion as me?? Hmmmm. Do people listen to themselves when they talk? Crazy times, I hope we can make an impact for good.

  3. Great post, Fritz. Think about what’s important and create your ripple in the pond. The power of doing good starts with one person. Thank you for the reminder that we can all make a difference.

  4. Love it, Fritz! I couldn’t get through the video. One of the ways I stay positive is to keep myself on a fairly strict media diet (it works for me, I know it’s not for everyone). I have a friend who hasn’t spoken to her son since right after the election – they didn’t even spend the holidays together. This deeply saddens me. I’ve been reading “The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die” by John Izzo. One idea he presents at the beginning of the book is to think of yourself as an old man/woman, sitting in your rocking chair on your front porch, looking back on your life. Ask that old person, “What would you do?” when faced with tough life decisions. I don’t think anyone would look back on their life and be happy they were estranged from friends/family over a presidential election.

    I LOVE what the Rockstar Community Fund is doing. I’ve felt the effects myself and try to spread the good as much as I can. Kindness and love can change lives.

    1. Amanda (the FIRST person to hand out a Rockstar Gift Card!!), love your comments. Good point to listen to Izzo and think about this stuff from an “end of life” perspective, would certainly help folks realize how ridiculous some of this stuff is. I’m worried about where we’re heading, and hope people start to realize how crazy this all is. Hopefully, we can all be ripples in a pond.

  5. Fritz, I love the “ripple concept”. One of the biggest things I have been thinking and researching during my Strategy Session this week has been … “How should I make an impact on /in individual people’s lives”. We are all gifted with different passions and capabilities built throughout our lives. This is a great time to be making these connections / impacts. Thanks for the thoughts / ideas this post spurred.

  6. Love this Fritz!! What a concept to think for ourselves and ponder what is important to us. I hate what is going on in our wonderful country right now and strive continually to not allow the hate and anger to change me. Thank you for sharing your heart thoughts.

    1. Kirk’s better half!! LOVE getting a comment from you here, Mona!! I think a lot of us hate what is going on, and I just felt like it was time to share my thoughts. It’s easy to criticize, but it’s hard to offer tangible suggestions. Hopefully, today’s post covered both! Thanks for stopping by!

  7. Thank you for waking me up from this social nightmare and reminding me what is important.
    I accept your challenge to be intentional, do some good, be a ripple in the pond and “Make a
    Nice Day!”

  8. I propose a moratorium on unlimited negativity and bitching. The problem is that we get to do/say/think as much negative stuff as we want for free. What if there was a cost instead? For everything that you create (a program, a story, a song), you get to tear down one thing. For every time you help someone out, you get a free pass to say one negative/bitchy thing that helps nobody at all. Not being negative at all is the domain of angels. But what if you had to earn the right to be negative? I bet that all the good you did on the way to earning enough points for negativity would end up being so satisfying that you wouldn’t even feel the need to be negative any more.

  9. Nice work, Fritz. I think the Community Fund initiative is just the kind of thing that’s too often absent in our, um, imbalanced society these days.

    It’s an interesting moment for us as a nation. How well we’ve learned the lessons of history will determine where things go from here. We can only hope people are really, actually paying attention. You know, to the real, actual facts. Not the alternative ones. The stakes are high.

    “Our society has gotten out of control.” Indeed.

    1. “How well we’ve learned the lessons of history will determine where things go from here. We can only hope …”

      I’m afraid you’re right, but I’m concerned that most folks today don’t give a hoot about history. Hope, indeed, may be our only course. Concerning.

  10. I am very lucky to work somewhere that we are not allowed to talk politics or religion at work. It sure has made coming to work a lot easier during the past few months! As the old saying goes, “Opinions are line assholes, everybody has one”. 😉 I also understand the people who unfriend others on FB – it is their way of trying to filter the world around them. Similar to this FIRE culture wanting to skip commercials and TV as a whole due to the consumerism it feeds our brains. I get it. I don’t, however, get the need to make a public declaration when unfriending others. Just do it. Live in the bubble if that is where you choose to be. I take no offense and I totally get it – Ignorance is bliss! In the end, everyone is just trying to make it through the day. It’s a lot easier to get through the day with a positive attitude than a negative one. A good place to start is by helping people around you (like with the Communtiy Find) and not adding to the weight of the world. Let’s all just lighten up a bit! Great post, Fritz!

    1. “It’s a lot easier to get through the day with a positive attitude than a negative one.” Amen to that, ‘Cuz! I’m all about folks having the freedom to live their lives as they choose, it just irritates me when they choose to live a life that causes disruption.

      Then again, that’s just my opinion (which we all have, just like a**holes. What a great quote).

  11. I use to be a big political news junky. I even enjoyed debating political points with friends and family. But lately (last few years, its not a recent phenomenon) its gotten so nasty I just avoid the topic and the news around it entirely. I’m so glad we cut the chord as I don’t have to see advertisements or new briefs about it. At least with the internet news and magazines I just skip those articles. Life is too short to get worked up about something you can’t change.

    1. “I’m so glad we cut the chord as I don’t have to see advertisements or new briefs about it.”

      Ironically, I also chose to NOT have a TV in my “City Apartment”. While I sometimes feel “in the dark” when folks are talking about something current, I prefer to live in a bubble of my own choosing. Perhaps I’m no better than the narcissist who lives in their world of electronics, but I prefer it that way.

  12. Often times the world can benefit from more critical thinking and a bit less emotion. Politics is all about manipulating people’s emotions. Critical thing should be a mandatory course in all schools, the world would be a better place. Leave emotion for empathy, which I suspect is what led to the Rockstar Gift Card initiative.

  13. I bought lunch today and paid cash and got almost $1.00 back in change. Next to the register was one of those metal case thingis to donate (this was for children and education). I thought for a second that this change will just sit in my car’s change holder for months so I put it all in the case and felt good about it. It’s really true that helping others means you get to help yourself too!

  14. Fritz, this resonates with me 100%! Awesome post! It has gotten so nasty the last few years, from all sides. Not sure where it became the norm to always think you are right and they are wrong. Anywhoooo, I’ve been working hard to get to FI, and one of my goals all along has been to create a giving fun and help as many people as I can before I leave this beautiful earth. I love the idea of doing it anonymously, to see the looks one someone’s face (from a distance) knowing you have changed their life, whether it be in a small or big way. Thank you for your Blog and all you are doing to help folks learn from your experience. Maybe I’ll join you someday with a blog of my own. Keep up the great work!

  15. Thanks for the reminder, Fritz. I feel like this fund is an example of the goodness and generosity of this community as a whole. And I’m so happy and proud of J$ for starting it! A ripple in the pond… I need to remember that and focus on that!

  16. I love this initiative, helping others because we are able to. I recently started volunteering, it was a few months ago and it was the first time I tried volunteering. After every trip I get a sense of satisfaction and feel great about what I’ve done. I can’t really describe it but I guess when you find a cause that you support, you’ll get something like this.

  17. Not to get too political either, but I’ve simply stopped watching mainstream media and only focus on the things that I can affect. One thing I’m doing is donating any blog profit from my site to the world wildlife foundation this year. It’s motivating me to grow it a lot more than if the extra money would’ve just been for more savings for myself! We gotta be the change we want to see.

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