Wednesday, June 01, 2011

What if Your Tweet Caused a Chain Reaction?

Have you ever considered what your voice can do, if raised at the opportune moment? What interactions with people may set you on a course that will affect other people? Last year, a series of events were set in motion that have all come together this week and have left me completely speechless.

Last year, I happened to be sitting in front of my TV when a commercial for Food Revolution came on, which in itself is amazing because I almost never watch TV.

I tweeted Jamie Oliver. Which is something I never would normally do-and Jamie tweeted me back, asking me how to get the blogging community involved in Food Revolution. I had never expected any response from Jamie, but that single tweet inspired me to go beyond just talking and thinking about making change, but actually doing something about it. On a drive to work the next day, with "Man In the Mirror" playing, I decided to get off my butt and DO something.

Soon after, I created Food Revolution Fridays, which was far more successful than I thought possible. Months later, I was asked to speak at Blissdom on the Blogging for Social Change panel. Which I never, in my wildest dreams, ever expected to happen. I almost couldn't go but in the last few hours, when I thought it was beyond my grasp, Ariane at Foundation Studio stepped in to sponsor my airfare, and before I knew it I was on my way.

On the plane to Blissdom, I was inspired by Grayson Chance's performance on Ellen of "Waiting Outside the Lines". If you listen to the words, the song is about taking chances, reaching outside your comfort zone, and chasing your dreams. I resolved in that moment, as the plane descended into Toronto, I was going to continue living outside the lines.

On the way home, I watched the We Day broadcast in Vancouver and was inspired to take things further, but wasn't sure how.

About a month later I found a 16 year old student in one of my classes poking around on a laptop, saying that she wanted to DO something for kids in Africa, like sending them soccer equipment. I showed her the Me to We site and Free the Children, hoping that they could possibly help her out or that might be something she'd be interested in. I sent out tweets to see what I could do to help Arhea fulfill her dream. So inspired by her enthusiasm, I went home and wrote about the exchange.

The next day, Craig Keilburger saw my post and tweeted it. I only noticed because I happened to look at my stats, which again-I NEVER do. The next day I went to work and told Arhea, who practically danced in the hallway in excitement.

Arhea promptly printed off an application from Me to We and took it to our principle.

Our school is now looking at being a part of Me to We, with 30 kids having the chance to attend We Day if the application is accepted.

Where will it go from there? Who will it touch next? How many more people will be inspired? Whose life will it change? Will it touch the whole community?

All starting from a single tweet about a TV show, to a celebrity I've never met, thousands of miles away, which brought Arhea and I together. Ironically, other people were on the same track in their own lives, all leading each of us to Me to We and everyone seemed to come to the same conclusion at the same time. If you really think about it, the whole thing is amazing.

Now THAT is the power of WE.

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